I’m a regular pastor. My church is located in an average sized town. We are a medium sized church. Here are a few of my thoughts now that we’re several weeks into a “new normal.”
- I’m grateful for faithful, supportive church members. It’s a humbling thing to make a “living” from the tithes and offerings of hard working people. It’s even more humbling to see those same people support their church financially when the entire calendar has been wiped clean.
- I’m thankful for committed, flexible staff members. March and April would have been busy months at our church. All of those events had to be cancelled. However, our mission of making disciples has not been cancelled, and I’ve been so impressed with the creativity of our staff.
- I’m still wrestling with live-streaming worship. We did not live-stream before COVID-19, and I’m not sure we will continue after COVID-19. Whatever we do or don’t do moving forward, I do think there is a difference in live-streaming out of necessity as opposed to convenience.
- I’m convinced there is something special and irreplaceable about corporate worship. I miss studying God’s Word with my Sunday school class. I miss hearing people sing in big-church, and I miss seeing people when I preach. I miss the sound of people talking before and after worship.
- I’m amazed at the technology that allows us to continue sharing the truth. Obviously Facebook Live and Zoom are not the same as an incarnational gathering, but they’re certainly better than nothing. I appreciate the ability to communicate with our people during social distancing.
- I’m longing for heaven more than I normally do. Maybe the fact that I’m longing to be reunited with our church family is connected to a deeper longing to be reunited with the great multitude of the redeemed. All I know is that I can’t wait for social distancing to end, both here on earth and in heaven.
- I’m more appreciative of the normalcy of routine. It’s almost like God knew what he was doing when he built “Sabbath” into creation. On a micro-level, I also like the fact that even in an empty sanctuary, I know where my people would be sitting. I’m saving everyone’s seat, by the way.
- I’m humbled at the reminder of how easily and quickly our “empires” can crumble. COVID-19 has impacted many of us like a natural disaster would, reminding us just how little we actually control in everyday life, and reminding us that we are truly a vapor.