Manage episode 263561437 series 1105654
At the close of week 10 of the national quarantine and now attempting to reopen the doors of the church, we are experiencing the Good, Bad, and Ugly. WOW, we are witnessing disruption layered on top of disruption. Amad Arbery, George Floyd, Antifa, Anarchist, Confused Media – What are we to make of all the confusion? The pre-existing storyline for the church community was the difficulty of re-starting the church while people have had 10 weeks to start new habits. There is a spike in the fatigue of spiritual leaders. The Sabbath Rest could not be more important than NOW!
As you examine the data set that concluded week 10 of our national quarantine, we are now seeing that 72% of churches are going to maintain a hybrid format in their churches – Both live sanctuary services as well as Live-On-Line. Pre-COVID, online services were more of a novelty. Now they are a necessity.
There is not only an investment being made into creativity of the online church, but how that experience can be transferred into the church at large. As a side note, it is being reported that 5%-8% of churches will continue an online only option for their congregation through the summer months.
We are now seeing clearly that restarting the church is not as simple as opening the doors. Depending on the location of your church in America successful restarts are between 10% – 29% capacity of the church building is being viewed as a success. Keep in mind that we are only 3-4 weeks for some churches into a restart. There is still a national feeling the church will fully recover, however, that recovery is proving to be far more complex.
When it comes to restarting the Children and youth Ministry it is relatively split between starting back in July while others are opting to start once school begins in the fall. As you drill into this category of data it is revealing that 10+ weeks of new habits are now part of the routine in people’s lives. People will not change those new habits suddenly.
Layered on top of an already heavy load of restarting our churches is the issue of Amad Arbery, George Floyd, Antifa, Anarchists, and a confused media. This combination of issues is enough to break any good leader. There is a lot at stake currently. With that said there are a few things that I would point out. First of all, I am writing daily bog articles on the history of enslavement and possible pathways of nurturing a new narrative. August 2019 marked the 400th anniversary that enslavement began at Jamestown, Virginia. While progress has been made, it feels like we are a thousand miles away from our goal. I have been writing about the influence of MERCY upon our heart first, then our home, to our church, then to our society. There is no exclusivity on MERCY, but everyone must respond and allow its influence to change us at the heart level .
Let me be clear, history does not give us a positive illustration of outcomes when lawlessness is used to combat lawlessness. History does give us some illustrations of peaceful protest that can impact a nation.
Consider Gandhi’s life in leading India to liberation. Gandhi would declare, “Be the change you desire to see.” However, January 30, 1948 while standing on the steps to enter a building for prayer 3-shots rang out and Gandhi’s life ended.
Martin Luther King who was greatly influenced by Gandhi’s life’s work also followed the path of peaceful resistance. While sitting a jail cell in Alabama a reported asked, Dr. King do you hate the white man?” to which King responded, “I don’t hate any man! Hatred is to great of a burden to bear!” Yet on April 4, 1968 Dr. King was shot by James Earl Ray and would die later in the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
The impact of both men still lives on to this day. I would contend that MERCY must be the pathway to change the narrative to give us new opportunities to hope. Mercy is something the anarchist will never understand.
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Music: “Gratitude Mood” by David Arivett. You can learn more about his music by clicking on his name. THANKS DAVID!