A church cannot go through an extended period of ministry interruption and be the same on the other side. Nor should it be. Our troubles are designed to change us. According to Romans 5:3-4, difficulties produce perseverance, which strengthens our character. That’s change. But such positive outcomes only happen when our trials are honestly evaluated and the lessons properly applied. We are still evaluating the last 15 months. We have not discovered all the lessons yet. But there are some guiding principles that will help us on the journey.
Remember our purpose. Whatever service we offer should be motivated by a desire to honor and exalt God. Personal agendas, pet projects, and individual accolades must give way to self-sacrifice for the building up of the church to the glory of God.
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
-1 Peter 4:10-11
Examine our priorities. What activities deserve primary attention? When it comes to ministry activities, the choices rarely involve distinguishing between good and evil. Ministry choices are usually between good and better. When Martha chose to busy herself preparing a meal for Jesus, she wasn’t doing something evil. She was doing something good (1 Peter 4:9). But she was missing out on something better (Luke 10:38- 42). As we look to increase our activities postlockdown, I want to encourage us not to merely try to recreate the pre-lockdown environment for no other reason than the fact that it’s what we used to do. Let’s be deliberate, thoughtful, and prayerful about it. Let’s not just settle for good. Let’s set our sights on better and best!