I sometimes wonder...... there has been a perfect storm of events that has damaged most churches, and I do not mean burst pipes:
- Denominational division came first. Still do not know how that is going to turn out.
- Then came unprecedented political division. (Is the word unprecedented overworked today, evidently not) Who thought the halls of Congress could become the halls of a mob?
- Racism reared its ugly head again and again. It seems like disparity and systematic racism continues to damage people, churches, and the country.
- COVID-19 entered the fray a year ago and churches found themselves in a place they never thought could happen. We are praying vaccines are a game-changer.
- Now a week that Texas leadership is calling the most significant disaster in Texas history, impacting every person, every church, every county, and one that will impact us in ways we have not yet seen. Hundreds of our churches have burst pipes, thousands of our members have burst pipes, and everyone seems to be blaming someone else.
People in seasons like this often isolate, divide, and disconnect. COVID-19 has made it even more difficult to bring people together. People become even more inwardly focused. They are forced to take care of themselves first. They do not know what to do. They isolate more squarely in their group. Christians can become more self-absorbed. The Church can lose itself.
Is there an opportunity in this latest week of freezing ridiculousness?
- Focus on the mission!
- Preach and pray the mission!
- Help people participate in the mission!
- Reconnect people to the churches central mission!
- Develop a plan that addresses the communities need of your churches mission and your people need to participate in the mission. This also makes a way for non-members and the people the church is not already reaching to join you by participating in that mission.
Is it possible to turn outward unifying our churches and church family around the mission in our own communities, to take divided and often isolated church people and connect them with a compelling, clear, unifying mission and vision to be salt and light as the church of Jesus Christ in their area? Is it possible to influence our communities, to help shape and reshape them in a “we love each other” model?
Communities need to see the church as the bearer of good news, spiritual and material. The Church family needs to see themselves as the giver of good news, the hope of Christ for their area, the light of the world that God calls us to be.
It does include sharing the narrative of the mission, but even more it is how people can be directly involved and participate in the mission that writes the narrative.
In the darkest of times is when the church should and can shine brightest.
Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director
Center for Evangelism, Mission & Church Growth