As you all are aware we have been going through unexpected times as pastors. We have had to change or rethink how we are going to minister to our flocks. Which in some ways have made us get out of our comfort zones, “out from behind the pulpit”. Some of the traditional ways of presenting the gospel of Christ have been put on the side burner. And I, for one, am glad that traditions and works are not what sustains our salvation in Christ as Paul tells so clearly in Galatians. Because if that were the case we all would be lost.
But due to the changes, this virus has caused, not only in our churches but across the world, we can tend to get discouraged and depressed.
I believe that when this happens we need to examine our hearts. We need to see if we are seeing this “time of change” as the world sees it or as Christ sees it. If we are looking at this time of uncertainty as the world sees it, we will see sickness, death, separation, and chaos which will lead to depression and discouragement. But, if we separate ourselves from this world and look at what is going on with a “spirit-filled heart” we will then see the true beauty of God’s sovereign plan, which is spoken of in the Gospel of Matthew 20:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In the Gospel of Mark 16:15, He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Before now many of us as Pastors stayed in our comfort zones to preach to our congregations and once in a while try something new by holding a special event outside the four walls of the church. But since this outbreak, we have been forced to try new ways of bringing the Gospel to our families. By streaming the Gospel, we are reaching our church family and all four corners of the world. You might want to sit down for this one! Hold worship services outside (is that even allowed for Brethren to do? There is no pulpit or pews that are assigned to individual families outside).
When we stop thinking as the world we will see that the gospel of Christ is getting heard and accepted more now than ever before. Praise God for His sovereign plan of salvation to all!
Here at the Brethren Church in New Lebanon, we have done the things that I have mentioned above. We have live-streamed on an IPad with a speaker beside it so the service could be heard, we host our worship service on a hay wagon in our parking lot. The congregation sitting in their cars in their pajamas drinking their coffee listening to the praise band and Gospel through their car radio. Granted, we do not have the technology of streaming as many churches do and yes you read it right (we are using a hay wagon as a stage). But what we do have, is a faith-based Gospel and the truth.
As you read through the word of God we see that people came from all around to hear Jesus preach the truth of the Gospel. He did this by simply using the resources he was given. And that is what we are to do as well. By using our resources, we have seen church growth and lives changed. Praise be to God!
My prayer is that I have helped to remind you of what Paul wrote in Romans 12:2:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”