Like you, I was glad to see 2020 come to an end. However, many of the same issues remain a significant part of our life and ministry in 2021. So, how does the church move forward to grow healthier and stronger?
Adapt – Many of us have learned how to do our work—differently. When the pandemic struck, we quickly learned how to do church online, through Zoom, on our phones and computers. We learned how to record video and put it online so any and all could watch. We learned how to minister via group texts. We used Facebook Live to attempt to do worship and Bible study. We were forced to adapt to strange new environments. We missed the hugs, handshakes and high fives. We still do. In all these situations, we learned to adapt…something we must continue into the future.
Create – Not only did we have to adapt, we had to create new ways, new venues and new opportunities for the church to be the church. We had to try new things. We learned a lot of new stuff. Even so, the church is not a building—it’s people. We are the body of Christ. We must be creative and try new things. The future of the church requires this adaptation and creativity as we seek to make disciples in new, strange and exciting ways.
Focus – Too often, when we are working to adapt and be creative, we lose focus on the things that are most important. Worshipping online and in person are great, but lest we forget—worship is still about God. We may not need bricks and mortar to have church, but God can and will continue to use buildings and online platforms for people to worship, have Bible study, minister and fulfill the Great Commission. Buildings, programs and people do not bring changed lives. God changes lives. He changes lives by using buildings, programs, people and even the internet. Let’s not forget to keep the main thing, the main thing. We exist to make disciples who make disciples.
Adapt and be creative…just don’t let the methods become the focus. Instead, “keep your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, CSB). He is the power to change lives and He is at work in and around you today. Make Him the center of your attention and worship.