That’s the real question for the Church.
Where do we go from here?
I don’t just mean the local church and the ministry I oversee. I’m also thinking about the Church at large in America.
For the last decade, I’ve had a keen sense that ministry is rapidly changing. Looking forward, it’s certain that late twenty-first century churches will go about ministry differently.
Things have changed tremendously over the last fifty years. Ministry venues, models of discipleship, and methods of communication have all adapted to reach new people with little or no church background. For the most part, the changes have been good.
Consider the wisdom of Elmer Towns. “Culture has changed, including the way people think and arrive at conclusions. People have different goals, attitudes, and reasons for living. The Church can’t use yesterday’s methods in today’s world and expect to be in ministry tomorrow.”
Think about our current national crisis. Churches and ministries without an online presence have faced the steepest learning curves. Even those who have maintained an online presence for years are struggling to keep up in our online-only and church-on-demand state of worship services.
What’s an online presence? Well, if you’re reading this blog, you probably have an idea. Churches without a good quality website do not have a digital front door entrance. Likewise, without active social media accounts, churches are missing out on influencing the masses of our population that hang out online. In our day of internet connected-ness, it’s a sin of omission to neglect the necessity of an online presence.
So, where do we go from here? That is the question I began with, and it demands an answer. After our crisis-distancing has lifted, what will the local church look like? Will everyone who was somewhat connected and those who have adopted a form of crisis godliness return to our buildings?? For their own sake, I pray they do.
The super-connected will return with a zeal to do more than ever for Christ in these last days. But, we all know some who were barely connected. Maybe they refused to prioritize on-site attendance. After this crisis, they might struggle to reinvent the godly habit of on-campus attendance. Alas, some will settle for being online-only Christians.
Let me be clear. An online-only Christian will not become all that Christ wants. Online-only involvement leads to disastrous delays in spiritual growth. You need your church family and the family needs you too!
Where do we go from here? That’s called the future. The better question is, how do you go from here. And the answer is by faith.
When the crisis mode lifts, and we can return to the face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder assemblies, we must go in faith. The just must live by faith, and faith without works is dead!
We must also accept that meaningful ministry has never been easy. Post-pandemic ministry will present new struggles. But by faith, we must adapt and go forward.
- By faith, you must try new methods.
- By faith, you must submit to leadership.
- By faith, you must forsake pretentiousness.
- By faith, you must embrace human vulnerabilities.
- By faith, you must refuse to give in to the fear of change.
The Holy Spirit impressed this word of faith upon my soul.
“There’s only one way to succeed at living by faith. You must be more willing to fail by faith than succeed by sight.”
I’d rather take scriptural steps of faith than sit on the sidelines with remorse and regret over the lack of results. God is faithful, and He has a habit of rewarding faith-filled steps taken in prayerful faith.
Where do we go from here? “It’s a different world; let’s go meet the challenge! We do that by being the church in a different world” (Elmer Towns).
By faith, are you willing to go to the future of ministry with me?
Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.