10 Things that Don’t Seem So Bad Right Now

Perspective matters. Given the craziness of the past few months, here are some things that don’t bother me nearly as much as they did prior to COVID-19:

  1. Unfriendly church members. I’ve missed seeing the body of Christ together – including those folks whose input and actions weren’t always the nicest.
  2. Rowdy kids. I’ll just be glad to see them and hear them running around the church building again. In fact, I welcome the joy in their rowdiness.
  3. Online ministry approaches. They cannot be a replacement for incarnational ministry, but I’ve realized they can be a helpful tool in a church’s overall strategy.
  4. House churches. I’ve never seen them as wrong or bad—just not the norm in Western culture. We’ve now been pushed, though, to worship in small groups in homes.
  5. Repetitive worship songs. I realize we’re still debating whether we should sing when we gather, but I’m ready to hear any singing of God’s people together.
  6. Careful stewardship. I get it when some leaders want their churches to step out in faith financially, but the churches I know that have handled this crisis well were wise in their budgeting and spending prior to COVID.
  7. No hymnals. I’ve written before about why I miss hymnsso I’m not opposed to hymnals—but churches that had already stopped using them have not had to determine whether to use them when regathering.
  8. Security and crisis teams. When I first began ministry, we never thought about having these kinds of teams. Now, I couldn’t imagine not having them ready to respond quickly as needed.
  9. Seemingly weak prayer ministries. Sure, I want us to have strong ministries—but we’ve seen that even a few committed prayer warriors can pray us through a crisis. The strength of a prayer ministry is not in its numbers.
  10. Simple worship. We’ve sometimes made worship so elaborate that we become the stars. Being forced to reconsider all we do in a worship service isn’t bad.

What would you add to this list?

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    I am encountering two lines of thinking on the internet. The first is that online services and gatherings are a useful adjunct and churches should retain some online ministries after the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise, we are going back to the way things were before the pandemic. This line of thinking assumes that COVID-19 will eventually disappear and every body will be glad to gather in a church building again for worship, Bible study, and children’s ministry.

    The second line of thinking is that online services and gatherings will become the primary way that Christians gather for worship, Bible study, and children’s ministry and churches may offer in-person services and gatherings for worship, Bible study, and children’s ministry as an adjunct to its online ministries. During the COVID-19 pandemic churches have expanded their outreach to the unchurched with their online ministries and these online attendees must considered in any vision of the COVID-19 era church. Polls show that many people are not ready to risk exposing themselves to the virus by attending in-person services and gatherings. COVID-19 is likely to be with us into the next century, even if a vaccine is developed. Past experience also shows that people who are attracted to Christianity through a special type of service or gathering, tend to prefer that type of service or gathering to conventional services and gatherings and are not likely to make the transition to conventional services and gatherings. So unless a church wants to write off its new online attendees, a church would be wise to view its online ministries as an essential part of its overall strategy and not just as a useful adjunct.

    I am also finding that the people who are most eager to return to in-person services and gatherings are NOT the folks who have been sheltering in place, observing social distancing, avoiding unnecessary trips, and wearing face masks. It is the folks who have not been observing these public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. They see the relaunching of these services and gatherings as a vindication of their decision not to comply with these measures.

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