Pastor Mike's Newsletter- COVID-19 UPDATE
March 17, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
God has a plan. When people say the world is falling to pieces, God says it is falling into place. Who imagined just two weeks ago the tremendous changes that would come upon our country because of the Covid-19 virus, also known as the Corona virus.
We have attempted to go on with life in as normal a manner as possible, but it is clear that no one can avoid making changes to life and lifestyle. With the federal and state government directing the close of many businesses and the increased “social distance,” much has been disrupted. Many of these disruptions will cause people great difficulty. Some are losing jobs. Some are needing to find a way to manage households now that students are at home instead of school. It seems like everyone will need to adjust.
What does this mean for us as a church, as the people of God? Although the change is great, one thing has not changed: we are to walk with our God, love one another, and seek the lost. Just two weekends ago, I preached that the church is not made up of its meeting places or its traditions, but of its people and the things God mandated, such as devotion to prayer, the Bible, fellowship, good deeds, etc.
The opportunity is here for us to continue to be the same people of God as the world changes! Allow me to outline a few major points.
First, we will have to change how we meet on weekends, although when we meet will be much the same. Because president Trump has directed the nation to seek to keep meetings at approximately 10 people, beginning right away, our large Friday and Sunday services must change.
Here’s the plan. Although we will not be meeting in any of our campuses, using technology available to us, we will have a LIVE service every Friday night at 7 pm and on every Sunday morning at both 9 and 11 am. Each of these services will come into your home via your computer or smart device. Each service will include worship music, prayer, the sermon, offering, and opportunity to interact. So, I invite everyone of us to “go to church!” in our living-rooms or at the house of a friend. We can still gather in small clusters with our families or with friends. We will worship together although we’re in different neighborhoods and different towns!
Second, it is time to serve one another. We need to be on the lookout for brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. Of course, if any get sick, we need to reach out in an appropriate and safe manner. But there is much we can do to love one another beyond this. Some will need help with child-care. Some will need help getting by, perhaps, if paychecks slow down. Some will need delivery of goods or food. People not in the church can use the kindness of a Christian friend who comforts, prays with, and even invites them to gather for Bible study or a LIVE service on the weekend. In short, we want to prepare ourselves to serve other people.
Third, remember the value of community groups. Pull together with one another to worship together and care for one another. On that note, we realize that many people have not had the chance to join a community group yet. That’s okay. Right away, we will be seeking to form new groups that you can be involved in or perhaps be a part of hosting. We will have more information on that in the days to come.
As for the many details of how we go forward together as God’s church, keep an eye on the website for details. Of course, you may call your campus pastor or any of the elders of the church with questions or suggestions.
Much has changed, but our vision has not. We exist to increase the health and size of God’s church everywhere. Let’s pull together and rise to the challenge that our Lord, Jesus Christ, has laid before us. We are living out the plan He has made. He put us here for “such a time as this.” As your pastor, I am excited to see how God’s Spirit will lead us all as individuals and as a group.
Keep your chins up! Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33
All my love,
P.S. Be on the look-out. In the next day or so I will be sending out a video with more information. If you have specific questions, please contact your campus pastor, me or Fred.