View my video greeting here: https://vimeo.com/400018997.
Since we are not able to gather safely for our congregational conversation this Sunday – please stay home and wash your hands frequently! – I wanted to share some thoughts on what church might look like after this wave of COVID-19 passes.
You might have fears about possible changes, and they are legitimate. But I think this crisis has the potential to alter the landscape positively in these ways:
- Church members will be so glad to see each other! FBC runs on relationships, and those will be stronger than ever.
- It will be easier to identify – and agree on – what really matters in church life. Leaders had to boil church down to the essentials quickly to respond to this situation, revealing what the real priorities are.
- The church will have a better sense that it is the people, not the building. The building sits mostly empty right now, but the church hasn’t gone anywhere.
- The metrics for measuring the church’s health and faithfulness to its purpose will change. Right now every congregation’s typical go-tos of nickels and noses aren’t telling the full story. (I would argue that they haven’t for a long time.) We’re having to think more deeply about impact, and I hope that will continue.
- The church will be better prepared to leverage technology to live into its mission. Social media and web-based interactions have been unavoidable with sheltering in place, and they have already led to deeper connections.
- Leaders will be seen even clearly as the innovators and deeply compassionate caregivers that they are. I trust you all know how hard FBC staff and lay leaders are working to minister with you when many of their usual venues and modalities are unavailable to them.
This is a difficult time. It is also one that can prompt adaptive shifts, enabling the church to increase its effectiveness in the aftermath – if we’ll tune into where God is at work in, among, and through us.
Be well, and I look forward to seeing you when it’s safe to gather again in person.