It is a different day! This tri-fold pandemic has changed our society, our lives, and indeed, the Church.
Back when this first began, who would’ve thought that we would be doing virtual church services for about 7 months? I am thankful for the technology and the hard-working team that makes it possible. I am thankful also to have gathered for waterfront services and all the work that went into coordinating that. It was a blessing to see each person face to face (with the appropriate social distancing of course). But it is also true that this is not what we are used to. This is not what we have known.
Yet, that is OKAY! God often calls His people out into the unknown, so that they will not lean on their own understanding, but rather lean on Him alone. In times like these, we need the spirit of DEBORAH, CALEB, and JOSHUA: FEARLESS FAITH!!!!!
It’s Time to Find Creative Solutions
The Church of this hour must think critically AND CREATIVELY. We must evaluate streams of income, teaching, preaching and programming. We have the opportunity now to evaluate how we can continue to minister effectively to our people and our communities. When God sends help, we must receive it, even when it comes in an unexpected way. The Church must be willing to take risks on bringing in other generations.
As Pastor Danielle Brown mentioned in Say Yes Now podcast episode 0003 (listen here: https://apple.co/2RiiAVm), we need to be open to hard questions being asked without feeling threatened by them.
As we continue to dialogue through difficult issues, we must be of the mind that together is how we will find answers. I remember a conference I was at years ago, where the senior leader said he hired staff to bring solutions, not problems. Together, each generation hand in hand, we must develop a mindset that sees beyond problems and recognizes possibilities and potential.
We Can’t Forget Prayer and Warfare
In all this, we must never forget prayer and warfare. In these times, the warfare has intensified! As people face unprecedented trails, we know that we must call on God to give us His strength, power, and grace.
Many years ago, when I was just beginning in the ministry, as I searched for God’s direction for my ministry, He gave me a very simple formula. He said, “Love them, lift them and liberate them.” That was my mandate. In
Church Growth from an African-American Perspective, I discuss how these three principles have shaped my approach to ministry.
I still believe that these three principles are fundamental for any church because they cut right to the heart of the Gospel. Prayer and spiritual warfare are essential weapons in this battle to liberate lives from the chains of addictions, strife, abusive situations, etc. Transformation begins by continuously applying the Word of God, along with the power of the Spirit of God through prayer.
Yes, change is at times uncomfortable. The process of transformation is full of ups and downs. However, we must remember that when God is in the midst of the transformation, whatever He has transformed is always more glorious, more radiant, more amazing in the end.
That is one of the reasons that I am especially looking forward to this year’s Longevity Conference. I am expecting God to do the amazing! Esteemed speakers such as Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, Pastor Buster Soaries, Pastor John Jenkins, Co-Pastor Suzie Owens, and many others will discuss the theme of “Soaring and Surviving through the Three-Fold Pandemic”. This event will be encouraging, edifying, and empowering!
(Click the image for more information on the conference, or to register and purchase tickets.)
Truly, God is working all things together for our good and His glory. We will, by faith, soar through this tri-pandemic and emerge stronger and better on the other side. LONG LIVE THE CHURCH!