Yesterday’s worship service has had over 500 views! Not sure how many people that is since households watch together. But listen to this: 19 people indicated that they were committing their life to Christ! 19!! Hallelujah! Amen! 19!!! Please pray for them this week.
We’ve now had three worship services without gathering. It was just 17 days ago that we canceled public gatherings. I’m struck by how long the last two weeks feels. It feels like two months.
And as I contemplate our new reality, I see this analogy:
It’s like we were all on a bus, heading to our chosen destination, enjoying the sites. Some of us might have been bickering a little about whether the a/c was set to the right temperature, but we were enjoying the journey, and enjoying each other.
Then the bus died, so we rented vans.
Then the interstates closed, so we plotted a new route.
We were told initially that the bus would be fixed in 15 days, but we just heard yesterday that it’s gonna be another month. So we press on in vans.
That analogy can help explain my life the past couple weeks. Most of my attention has been devoted to logistics and navigation. I feel like we were prepared for it, but it still changed our conversations as a staff. However, now that we’re finding our new normal, what I really want is to just come ride in each of the vans for awhile and see how everyone is doing. It’s amazing how much of our casual social interaction is vital social interaction!
This past weekend, after recording the worship service to an empty room, the worship team noted how much they miss the crowd. Felicia and Esther both talked about how certain people in the congregation lead them in worship every week. It’s so true. As one who been blessed to lead worship for 25 years, it has never been about the music for me. It’s always about leading the prayers and praises of God’s people! As much as we talk about the musicians being worship leaders, we should also celebrate how much the congregation leads the worship team.
I’m looking forward to when we will be together again. Until then, we’re looking for ways we can connect. How can we spend time “riding in each other’s vans?”
It seems the whole world is now meeting by Zoom conference call. We’ve had groups doing that as well. This week we’re going to “open the church” so to speak (by Zoom) for a noon prayer meeting on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Anyone can join by video or just by phone call.
I look forward to checking in with each other and praying together.
As for how much longer we continue doing church like this, you hear the same information I do. Just know that in every decision I try to make sure that we are being “cooperative and hopeful.” Soon this will be behind us. And “soon” might be June. Or it may be May. We’ll be ready to resume gatherings as soon as it’s prudent. But until then, we continue on our journey! Our method may be a new normal, but our journey is the same. We are moving toward Jesus.
Praying love joy and peace to fill your home,
Pastor of Sarasota Community Church since 2009.