Special thanks to Jonathan Falwell, LCN Executive Chairman and pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA, David Nelms of The Timothy Institute, and Jimmy Carroll, LCN President and pastor of Journey Church in Raleigh, NC, for sharing some of the lessons they have learned during this season.
God has called us to be faithful. It is in our human nature to worry about the numbers and to compare ourselves to others. Focus on what really matters – being faithful to the Gospel. Evaluate what encourages you. If you are encouraged by the wrong things, it is easy to be discouraged during this season. Measure your value and success by God’s standards.
Even during these difficult times, remember that God is still moving and working. Pray that these times of social distancing and isolation have led to families to spend more quality time with each other. May healthy marriages and healthy families emerge from this crisis. Pray that these times have cultivated a new appreciation for the gathering of the local church. May healthy local churches arise from this crisis. Pray that your pastoral focus has been sharpened. May stronger shepherds develop from this crisis.
Remember that as you reopen your church, some people will not be able to return to “normal life”. Figure out how to continue to minister to those vulnerable people. Every member is a minister. Unleash the power and potential of the local church.
As you and your staff reopen your church, constantly evaluate your strategy. You may implement one plan and then have to reconfigure the whole thing. Do not be discouraged. Be open and honest with your people. Remember that none of this took God by surprise. He is in control.