Yesterday I wrote to encourage pastors in these unusually busy and crazy days. Today, I direct my thoughts to lay persons. As a pastor, I want to encourage you, too:
- We miss being with you. Frankly, we’ve sometimes taken you for granted – but we’ve realized in these last weeks how good it is to see you in person. We look forward to seeing you again.
- We’re deeply grateful for your willingness to make rapid changes. It would have been easy to complain about the unexpected changes we’ve had to make. I’m sure some have grumbled, but most of you haven’t done that. You’ve jumped on board, and we’re thankful.
- We thank you for being patient with us. We know we didn’t do everything right when we adjusted on the fly. Our plans for online worship probably needed more thought at the beginning. We’re still trying to figure out stuff, but you’ve shown patience that marks the Spirit in your life.
- We’ve been blessed by the willingness of small groups and leaders to adjust to new delivery systems. We know that some of you who had never heard of Zoom have been forced to adapt—but you’ve done so with grace. Thank you.
- We’re honored and grateful that you’ve invited your family and friends to join us in online worship and small groups. Some of you who struggled doing evangelism prior to COVID-19 have reached out to others during this crisis. We love hearing your excitement about others who’ve unexpectedly joined us.
- We’re humbled by your faithful giving even when we’re not meeting in person. We found our faith stretched when we worried about giving projections, but many congregations have been remarkably faithful in sacrificial giving. You have helped relieve our stress.
- We’re bragging about you. I can’t even guess how many times I’ve heard pastors over the past months tell me how much they love and appreciate their congregation. It brings us joy to describe your faithfulness and support.
- We’re praying for you. Some of you have lost jobs. Others have suffered from the coronavirus. Perhaps more than we have in a long time, we’re praying for you by name. That’s our privilege.
Thank you, brothers and sisters in Christ. We love you.