Below are a few things I hope that we, the Church, can realize in the middle of this pandemic. This is not a critique of ministries, rather, it is simply some thoughts about the positive impact that crisis can, and I believe will, have on the church. Much like the stock market that “corrects” in certain seasons, ministries often need correction. In Scripture, God often used crisis to draw His people back to Him. I believe that God can utilize this difficult time to bring needed change to His Body.
Pastors, the following may offer some relief from the “performance” stress we’ve endured over the last many years. If you are weary of the demands to perform up to the standards of the few consumers who may come to your church, here is some good news.
During CoVid 19:
- The standards of success are changing. It’s no longer the biggest or flashiest churches that are considered successful; faithfulness is increasingly being defined as success.
- Celebrity ministry personalities are being sifted out. What used to impress naive folks may be wearing thin. The times are demanding authenticity, people realize their need for a Pastor rather than a motivational speaker. The divide between persona and character is widening. People are seeing through the smoke and mirrors; spiritual discernment is being practiced on an increased level. Hirelings are being exposed. Those who are in ministry for the money or for the notoriety are giving up the ruse. Only the truly called will survive this crucible.
- There is an increased sense of urgency among many Christians. Petty differences are being laid aside and are being replaced by a renewed focus on sharing the Gospel with a needy generation.
- Personal preferences in worship are increasingly being subjugated to what actually works to bring people to Jesus. Some of the changes that have been forced upon the church are resulting in more souls being impacted. Entertainment and showmanship are waning in the church. The “show” no longer gets the job done. People need real ministry and the pure work of the Holy Spirit is all that will suffice.
- There is a return to the simplicity of Scripture. We realize that the, “bells and whistles” of modern ministry are expendable, but the truth of Jesus is not. Things once considered as outdated and irrelevant ministry methods are increasingly being embraced as Biblical and effective. In times of crisis, many return to their godly roots.
- The Church is realizing her collective strength. What used to divide us is now serving to unite us. We are finding ourselves forgiving faster, overlooking weaknesses in others, honoring differences and embracing a heavenly Kingdom mindset.
- God seems to be purging His Church. Recall the Biblical example of the separation of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). This may be the time of distinguishing between the two.
Churches and Pastors, we were built for this. This may be our opus maximus, our greatest opportunity for eternally productive ministry. Let’s redeem this time of crisis. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to equip us to stand strong, win the lost, make disciples and finish strong. This marathon of ministry may be winding down. Stay focused, remain vigilant, adhere to the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit.
This pandemic may actually become something wonderful for the Church.