Let’s Not Go Back To Normal
Our church has now gone over 8 months without meeting inside for worship. When we do officially move back inside it will have been 9 months. This is very hard for me to wrap my mind around. Especially since I’ve never known a church to miss regular worship more than one week in a whole year. But, this season has given me a new perspective I believe is by God’s design.
One, there is definitely power in gathering with others for worship. No, going to church doesn’t save you. However, being with other believers does encourage you. It reminds you that you’re not alone in your struggles. It helps you stay focused and accountable in your faith. It lifts your spirit to face another week with God’s help.
Secondly, the church has nothing to do with a building. In fact, a church building can actually get in God’s way. We can get so focused on meeting inside those walls that we quit reaching those outside those walls. Sunday worship is nothing but a weekly pep rally for all those on the Jesus team. The real mission exists outside the church at home, work, school and wherever life may find us.
Thirdly, whether it’s a normal season or abnormal, God is not restricted. In fact, I’ve seen God do way more in this shutdown period than in the previous year before. Over 16 states have listened to our online messages. We are now on Facebook, Spotify, YouTube, & Cable television. We’re no longer just impacting those in the church house, but many others listening or watching in their house.
Fourthly, God likes to keep us realizing our total dependence on Him. I’ve prayed more in this season than any before. Totally out of my comfort zone, God has been my constant shepherd. I’ve had no choice but to give Jesus the full reigns of my life and ministry. With each day of surrender I keep seeing God doing greater and greater things.
Finally, I’ve seen enough to know I don’t want things to go back to normal. In fact, I believe it’s the worst thing any of us could do. We’ve seen more people come to Christ in the parking lot in eight months than we ever did inside the church house in the same length of time before. In fact, I’ve never been more excited about what God is going to do one week to the next.
So, I want you to know that we’re not a church looking to go back to normal. Instead, we’re going to keep letting God take us out of our comfort zone. What’s happening and what’s ahead will be worth every bit of discomfort. We don’t plan on ever being a church that just has church. Instead, we want to be the church no matter what life brings our way.
Now, we look forward to seeing you all inside the Ivanhoe Family Cinemas starting on November 15th. We will have two services every Sunday 9:15 and 11am. In the meantime, we will continue to meet in the theatre’s parking lot. You can be sure that God has amazing plans for us. In fact, the best is yet to come. Thanks to all of you who continue to make this ministry possible.