How can your church navigate Covid-19 and other murky waters in the future?
The Worst is the Best
Philippians 1:21, in the ESV translation, reads, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Surprisingly, in this case, I prefer the NLT translation, which reads, “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”
The worst thing that can happen to a human is the best thing that can happen to a Christian: Death.
Notice, when their is trouble of any kind, you will almost always see Christians running into danger to help, why? The Christian has no fear of death.
I love how rapper Trip Lee words this reality in his song titled, I’m Good, by saying, “Death is just a doorway to take me to my faithful lover.”
Be Balanced and Calm
The beginning of 2 Timothy 4:5 reads, “As for you, always be sober-minded…”
The Christian leader is called to exemplify (above-and-beyond) being sober-minded/level-headed and the Christian is called to exhibit this trait. This means that we cannot be people who live at the end of the spectrum. We can’t be people that by default cry wolf and panic, and we also can’t be people that by default ignore danger and lead our sheep to the slaughter.
As Christians, and Christian leaders particularly, we should be balanced and calm in stressful situations and when it comes to making big decisions.
Proverbs 16:18 reads, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
I don’t care who you are, unless you are Jesus, you are not always right, just as I am not always right. There are few things in life that I am 100% matter-of-fact about, and most of them concern non-negotiable doctrines of the Christian faith. Therefore, with our propensity of being wrong, we should be careful of being matter-of-fact about lesser things, particularly with a lack of information about such things.
When we are wrong, we need to admit it. Even better though, is to not publicly support a position that we know little about as if our opinion is 100% right – then there is no need to admit being wrong.
Pause, Pivot, and Plan
Follow this three-step formula as a tangible way to put all these truths together.
Take a day, or a week, or a month, or a year, and breathe. Do not be reactionary. Do not jump to conclusions. Seek information, but lean on the greatest information that you possess as a Christian, death is the worst thing that can happen, and even then, death is not so bad.
Acknowledge that things will not be the same for awhile and acknowledge that things may never be the same. Come to terms with these realities. Create a short-term plan while continuing to seek information. Implement this short-term plan and if at any time you need to pause again, that’s okay.
Find the new normal and live differently in it. Don’t let it crush your spirits. In fact, remain hopeful and let people see your joy during this time of transition. Implement long-term plans and move forward. Perhaps, God is wanting things to be different than they previously were – don’t miss out on His new works by clinging to old traditions.
As I write this blog, I am currently in the Pivot Step of the formula above during Covid-19. The church that I am currently serving is mostly offering ministries online with a few exceptions. Some say we are moving too slow and some say we are moving too fast.
If people on both sides of the spectrum are not in agreement with you, you just might be in the sweet spot. Prepare for criticism and opinions, be prayerful and pause, remember the worst is the best, remain level-headed while pivoting, stay humble, and plan as well as you and your leadership team can.