I have been doing some thinking during this seemingly unprecedented time, because some incredible things are happening, if we are watching. Most families are spending more time together. Eating together. Churches are not gathering within the walls of a building. Pastors are being pulled out of their comfort zones and forced to find creative ways to spread the Gospel. Believers are starting to invite more of their friends and family to watch church services on technological devices, and more people are checking out what pastors have to say. I ask you all to take some time and consider what is really happening here. I am not going political or conspiracy theory. I am talking about what I see that God is doing with His church.
We have been hearing one word a lot in the past year, especially the last 6 months. Unprecedented. But what God has established a precedent by at least 2 situations in the past?
(1) After the flood, God told the people to spread out and multiply. But the people decided to build a city and stay together, saying, "Otherwise we will be scattered across the face of the entire earth" (Genesis 11:4b NET). Which was exactly what God wanted them to do. So, God scattered them from the tower of Babel.
(2) The very last thing Jesus told His disciples was to stay in Jerusalem until they received the gift from God of the Holy Spirit, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8 NET). This was when they were supposed to "Go into all the world." But they did not. They hung around Jerusalem gathering together huddled up in houses--even after they received the Holy Spirit--until God raised up a young radical Rabbi named Saul who began to persecute the believers in Jerusalem. Then they scattered and spread the Gospel.
Now, for 2000 years God has been telling His church to Go, spread the Gospel. In many ways, we have. But the last 40-50 years, we have been content gathering to huddle in our buildings and giving money to missionaries and evangelist "experts," expecting that to be good enough. And like He has done before, the precedent He has set, is that if we do not go out to spread the Gospel on our own, He will scatter us and force us to do it.
It might be time to make some very big decisions and changes to how we "do church". Just saying....