COVID-19 Has Been A Reagent!
COVID-19 has been a game-changer, impacting all shades of Christian ministry.
- Christian camps
- para-church organizations
- church planting
- international missions
- Christian Education
- Christian colleges
- mission trips
AND . . . .
- local churches
COVID-19 has also been a REAGENT!
A reagent is a substance that is added to another substance which is being tested. The reagent is looking to triggering a reaction. That reaction reveals something about the substance being tested. A reagent aims to produce a reaction, usually visualized by a change in color on a test strip. Reagents are used to determine blood glucose, ketones, pregnancy, chlorine, and now the well-known COVID-19.
COVID-19 was a crisis which triggered a reaction within the Christian community and within a variety of ministries. Perhaps, that reaction was most visible within the local church setting.
COVID-19 has been a reagent
— a detector —
of the thinking and attitudes of
pastors and leaders in the local church.
There were striking disclosures for some local church ministries regarding the pastors’ and leaders’ thinking and attitudes. As previously stated, the brightest color change appeared on the first test strip below — far too little interest in keeping in contact with members.
Far too many pastors, who made the claim of caring, came up “testing negative.” One might excuse the inattention during the initial “14 days to flatten the curve. However, with the passing of weeks and months, there are still many members who realize — and say — “I have not even received a phone call from my pastor.”
That is the result of one test strip. I am sure there are more than those I have listed below, but these might be a sampling of some of the varied-colored reactions which showed up — and unfortunately, continue to appear.
The test strips reveal . . . .
√ far too little interest in keeping in contact with members.
√ a lack of ministry creativity as to how to handle the new challenges.
√ an initial priority on financial survival.
√ a diminishing of preaching-teaching God’s Word.
√ the pitting of fear against faith.
√ a new or renewed political-focused-preaching which tracked the politics of COVID-19.
√ a readiness to charge the government with persecution and/or a new discussion about ministries’ right to disobey the law.
√ the exciting of the waters, instead of the calming of God’s flock.
√ a propensity by laity and clergy to propagate “tin foil hat” theories.
√ more “membership” movement to other local church options.
√ a new openness by pastors to live-streaming.
√ a disinterest in some of the church’s standing ministries.
√ an excess of paid-staff.
√ a “rending” & twisting of Scripture in order to fit the times — prophetically and/or institutionally.
√ a survival mentality instead of a serving mentality
Some make the claim that the COVID-19 crisis will end “November 4th.” I’m not a prophet — but there may be several months of “the-same-but-different” ahead. Here are ten questions which might stir your thinking about local church ministry going forward . . . .
- What changes would I make in local church ministry TODAY, if this was the first day of “14 days to flatten the curve,” knowing what you know now about those so-called “14 days?”
- What would I do if I was starting a local church today?
- Where have some of the greatest mistakes been made by others, which can alert us to those same pitfalls?
- Who has been the most successful in navigating the COVID-19 waters?
- What will the local church ministry look like six-months from not, one-year from now?
- What must we do to still be effective in ministry months from now?
- Will we as a local church survive this in a way that still leaves us as a local church ministry — meaningful and effective — or will be be impaired for years ahead?
- What can still be done to correct course and avoid some of the damage that is around the corner?
- What changes to ministry might we be forced to make?
- Is there one new avenue of ministry we need to add to be more effective post COVID-19?
Feel free to push-back !
We don’t have to agree, but as believers, we do need to
THINK why we do what we do.