Church, What’s Next?

design-60Many Pastors, while still working hard on their online ministry are beginning to think ahead. What is next? How will this pandemic play out? Once we get back into our church buildings, how will the Church function over the next several weeks and months?

The “unknown” is the worst part. How do we prepare for a future that is uncertain? I think we can prepare by doing the painful work of considering worst case scenarios. Not expecting it or believing for that, but considering it. What will be the role of the Church if this crisis continues for 6 weeks or 6 months? 6 months on this trajectory would mean communities of hungry people, families in crisis, social breakdown and vast emotional trauma. Ask ourselves: If this happens, what would we, the church do?

We don’t like thinking like this. You might even think that I am having a crisis of my faith. But ignoring possibilities is not a lack of faith. Be reminded that many tried to, in the name of faith, ignore the possibility of the Corona virus in the first place. It is a spiritual leader’s responsibility to prepare for the future as much as possible.

Many are saying that our focus only on online ministry is shortsighted. We’ve got to be prepared to resource people beyond online services, and beyond getting back into our buildings.

I am finding that the churches that were more inwardly focused before Corona are having a harder time making the adjustments needed now. It’s difficult but not impossible. But my concern is, some churches have as their only goal, getting back into their building. While we cannot wait for that!, there is so much more we need to consider.

I think that it is reasonable to consider that we will never return to the old normal.

Let’s pray and seek guidance in what an effective ministry will look like in the future. I highly doubt that it will look like what it has in the past.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m so thankful for online ministry. And I’m very excited for the future physical gathering of God’s people. We need it so badly. But we also need to engage a hurting world with the hope we gain by coming together.

Without question, now is the time for the Church to lead the way in prayer, repenting, fasting and focusing on the Lord. I believe this is the primary starting point to discerning the best path forward. We must hear from Him! Come what may, God’s Church will be strategically positioned by Him to redeem this crisis.

Let’s be the Church!

In Times of Tragedy, You Can’t Hide What’s Inside


It’s been a tough week. West, Texas, the Boston Marathon, and countless lesser-recognized crises that didn’t even make the news. Honestly, it’s been a tough recent past. It seems that we are stringing together a series of really ugly tragedies. So much pain.

When everything is great, hypocrisy comes easy. But please notice how bad times have a way of bringing out whatever is inside us. This week, first responders in Boston are being heralded because they ran toward exploding bombs. Volunteer firefighters in Texas rushed to the scene only to lose their lives. Although there are only a few of these heroes, all over the country, whatever was inside of us came out.  Fear, anger, hatred; all of these are legitimate responses to the tragedies. Some run for cover while others run into the fire. Some get even more political and blame the “other” party. Some take advantage of the crisis and loot nearby stores. Whatever is inside comes out in times of crisis. You can’t hide it.

While you can’t hide what’s inside, I do believe you can change what is inside:

If your first response to bad news is giving up, pray for strength from God.

If your first response is revenge, pray for justice.

If your response is to cower in the corner or to panic or to lose control, pray for courage.

The problem with these responses? They offer no hope. No one is helped.

If your response is in any way anything other than hope-filled, God can help you.

The heroes of today are analogous to Christ. When humankind was in serious trouble, He came running, bringing hope. He was the First first responder.

Here is the bad news: another tragedy is on the way. Tomorrow or next week or next month something bad will happen. Make no mistake, the strong will rise to the occasion and make a positive difference. The weak will be controlled by the tragedy.

We need to be strong. God help us be strong in Your strength.

are you ready to respond to a crisis?

This is a great story that was in the news this week. What causes some people to respond in times of crisis? The actions of this 13 year old kid are amazing – and they are an excellent opportunity for us to consider and discuss why some people naturally react while others sit back and watch. I am in no way criticizing the other children on the bus – Jeremy Wuitschick acted so quickly that no one else even had a chance to respond. But I do wonder why and how there are so many people in the world who run away from danger or tragedy.

My observations about this boy’s actions:

There was no time to think about it or discuss it – he acted on instinct. There was something inside him that wouldn’t allow him to just sit there. Is this a trait that can be taught? Or is it something that, if nature does not provide it, we go without?

He was calm and collected when others certainly were panicked. Some are paralyzed by fear, others are motivated by it. Which is it for you?

Once the bus was stopped, he tried to help the driver (other video showed him attempting CPR). He didn’t even know CPR but he tried. Nerves of steel! By the way, the driver appears to be OK.

He wasn’t afraid of making the situation worse, of failing or of getting involved. He just acted. That kind of confidence is rare. I am guessing this kid has strong parents.

He said, “I didn’t want to die!” I’m not buying it. I think he didn’t want an entire busload of kids to die.

Listen, there are crises happening all around us. People are in trouble and hurting and dying. Most people just watch, or turn to look the other way. In so doing, they increase the likelihood that we will all be destroyed. Others wonder why no one is doing anything. Then there are a few Jeremys in the world who jump in to try to help. And sometimes the crisis is averted.

I am inspired by Jeremy. I hope I behave a little like he did.

Way to go, Jeremy. You saved a lot of lives along with your own. You’re a hero. I can’t wait to see what you do next with your life.