Responding Creatively in Challenging Times
When the Communists won control of China in 1949, many pastors were jailed or executed, and many churches were closed. One surprising strategy that church leaders took was to become barbers. After all, you have to get your hair cut – and pretty regularly. And who doesn’t talk with their barber? And now, the church in China (which is still oppressed and technically illegal) outnumbers the church in the U.S.! This is just one of thousands of times that the church has faced surprising challenges that call for creativity.
Now we need to be creative. This morning, the CDC issued an advisory calling in the next few weeks for the cancellation or postponement of any meeting over 50. This is an effort to delay (or hopefully help prevent) the spread of the Coronavirus, and Trinity will honor this advisory.
Our elders have voted unanimously to cancel our corporate worship for the next few weeks, but we now can offer live streaming of our worship service. We conducted a test drive of this technology yesterday and over 100 households successfully viewed our worship service from home.
Starting this Sunday, March 22, at 10:15, we will conduct our corporate worship by live feed. You can download the link here.
Our Community Groups face the same challenge. Given our President’s directive today about not meeting in groups larger than 10, we are asking Community Groups to suspend meeting for at least the next month. As fellow believers let’s think about how we can be creative in this unprecedented (yet temporary) challenge. Use technology where you can. PLEASE be communicating with one another, and where possible, responsibly be together. But let’s be wise and patient.
We are a group of believers bound together by the Gospel and a love for our Savior. This is an opportunity to be refreshed in what makes any church a church. It is not, and never has been, about a building. It is about relationships. Our building is a really big expensive tool, but still only a tool.
Essentially, we are a body of believers that that love each other and the city we where we live. This is what we do as a family. Preferably, we would physically meet together as a congregation, every Sabbath Day to worship our Lord. But in times like this, at least we’re blessed to have the ability to gather around a TV screen, computer, iPad or phone and worship – and maybe with some others – singing the same songs, rehearsing the same scripture and listening to the same sermon.
Lastly, if you have any needs, please let us know. If there’s an opportunity to serve someone in your sphere of influence, let your community group know. We can trust Jesus throughout the entirety of this! We may not understand even remotely what He is doing, but surely, He is humbling the entire world with merely a germ. And in the meantime, He gives us resources where His work, His kingdom, His church advance unhindered.
Things to pray for:
- Humility to face our frailty and limits in a fallen world and. Ask the Lord to help you be honest and realistic about all the ways that we have been proud before Him rather than humble.
- Faith in Jesus. Ask Him to help you trust Him, that He has come to solve problems that we cannot – and that also with surprising circumstances (like His resurrection), He can turn hardships into blessings!
- Vision. Ask the Father to give you eyes to see the opportunities all around you to love and serve your neighbors, with Jesus’ love. Pray for courage and generosity to act
- Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to bear in you His fruit of love. Ask Him to fill your heart to overflowing with a sense of God’s love for you, and that it would spill out to everyone in your life, especially in this time of hardship and fear.