Heart–to-Hartin - Mar. 2020
Updated: Jul 7
Despite some positive signs in recent weeks, it has begun to feel as if things
may never go back to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, and
that our “new normal” will be lingering not only for the remainder of 2021 but
also beyond it.
There’s no question that our church has been hit hard by the pandemic, as we
have been hindered from having the kinds of in-person gatherings which help
us feel connected to one another as a family should be. Even with some
restrictions being lifted and vaccines being distributed, many of us remain
hesitant to leave the safety of our homes for fear of contracting the virus, so
we continue to shelter in place. We all realize how much of a toll this extended
isolation can take on our spiritual lives, as we grow accustomed to watching
Sunday services at home and using technology to meet remotely, which simply
isn’t an adequate substitute for the encouragement we get from being in each
other’s physical presence.
Both the Scriptures and the Spirit seem to tell us that the Christian life isn’t
meant to be lived this way. From its inception, the Jesus movement has
derived its energy and momentum from groups of people being committed to
meeting together on a routine – if not daily – basis. The togetherness of the
body of Christ provides the impetus for evangelism, church planting, numerical
growth, and spiritual growth.
So, in this “new normal” in which togetherness poses a health risk, what are
we supposed to do? Among other things, I think it’s critical that each member
of FCC take ownership of the church’s ministry and mission, doing what we can
to reach the people around us. For example, if we don’t feel comfortable
coming to the church building on Sundays, perhaps we can meet personally
with family members or small groups of friends in a socially-distanced setting,
to watch the Livestream or just to have a time of prayer, Bible study, or
conversation. As the weather gets warmer, these gatherings can be held
outdoors, perhaps in our backyards or at a nearby park.
If things never get “back to normal”, this doesn’t have to mean the end of FCC.
It does mean, however, that each of us will need to play an active role in
connecting with one another and with others if the church is going to survive.