Month of May 2020
I have so many questions right now. I want answers. I don’t like living in the uncertainty. It can cause me to have anxiety. I also have many questions for the church. What is God doing in our midst? When can we all meet together? What will that look like? To what is God calling us after sheltering-in-place? What is our purpose?
When it is finally safe to return to our church building, we'll be tempted to rush back to the familiar. "Finally," we may say, "we can get back to what we know how to do!" The disciples did this after the resurrection. They went back to fishing, and Jesus called them to come and have breakfast. He fed them physically, and he fed them spiritually with the Word. I believe much preparation needs to be done within our mind, body, soul and spirit. I believe we have been given a huge wake up call to what is real, what is important, what is the life Christ calls us to choose. What will that life look like for us personally and as a church?
John Thornburg, who is an elder in the North Texas Annual Conference and a part of the TMF (Texas Methodist Foundation), stated how one pastor said, "I need volunteers more than I need money to help carry the ministry loads instead of the same 10%.” Some pastors are worried about the financial health of the church. Some are concerned now that people are sheltered- in- place they will prefer watching online church services instead of physically attending a worship service.
Bishop Gregory Palmer stated, “Churches may face the temptations to plan lots of activities to prove they're still in business rather than asking the central question, "God, given what we have been through, what is the difference you are calling us to make?" How can we continue to grow and ask the age-old question, “Who is my neighbor?" It is possible this crisis will bring us closer to understanding the difference between 'ministry for' and 'ministry with.' No more ministry for and of self, it is the ministry of Christ for Christ.
Personally, I have heard too many speculations to which I have no answers. I am asking you, as I am doing myself, to pray! God knows the answers. God knows what we need and what the church needs and then how to blend this into beautiful ministry. When I think of that promise, I get a new hope within me and I look forward to what that ministry may look like. I think now more than ever the church needs to be the church and lean on Christ. Christ has the answers to our questions.