I led a Divorce Recovery Workshop a few years ago. One of the key ideas, among many, as we worked to guide people through a very difficult season in their lives, was a question we asked:
What opportunity do you have in your life now that you did not have before your divorce?
This was very difficult for most to answer. They typically had a hard time seeing beyond their present situation, often rejection, almost always loss, and typically tangible grief. Opportunities in the middle of the mess were very hard to see. In some ways, it is much like this today for the Church.
What opportunities does the church have now that it did not have before the COVID-19 season.
- What needs to change
- What must not change
- What new future needs to be born in the light of new opportunities that did not exist just a few months ago.
One new opportunity is very clear. There is an amazing opportunity to reach people we are not reaching and weren’t reaching:
- There is tremendous division in the culture
- People are feeling very disconnected from much of what they have known
- People are searching, seeking, and looking
- The framework that held many people’s lives together is fractured
- The Church is God’s answer
People are in flux and chaos, not unlike the first century of the church, or the season when the Methodist Church was birthed. This is an opportunity that did not exist at the level it does today just a short time ago.
Do we respond to these opportunities with enthusiasm and faith, or do we act like the “Divorce” never happened and hope things will go back to the way they were? Do we take an inventory of new opportunities and plan how we are going to respond to them, or do we live in the pain and grief of “Divorce” and raise the white flag? Do we just wait for things to unfold as they will, or do we examine this new reality and seek to lead into a refocused vision of making disciples in new ways and respond to a world in need with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director
Center for Evangelism, Mission & Church Growth