As has been my consistent practice for many years now, I close out the old year by reflecting on what God has done and what we can learn from this last year’s experiences. Here are my reflections on 2020…
The 2020 “Pivot”
COVID certainly created chaos in 2020. In ministry, everybody had to scramble to figure out what to do. “Pivot” seemed to become one of the most commonly used words overnight. In the midst of all of the adjustments we had to make, it seems like many of us have lost sight of what is the real mission of the church. We were not put here to hold services, but to make disciples. And although holding services in the ways we have traditionally done in the past may not be possible right now, making disciples is still well within reach.
The Kingdom of God has not been stopped by COVID—or anything that 2020 handed us—although many are acting as if it was. What is essential? Love God, love others, make disciples. We can still love people and help them to grow. Even if we cannot meet face to face or in large groups, we can still communicate online, by phone, or outdoors socially distanced in smaller groups. And that’s all that’s needed. Christianity has never needed large public services with corporate singing. Although those can be nice, they certainly wouldn’t have worked under the pre-Constantine Roman empire.Although holding services in the ways we have traditionally done in the past may not be possible right now, making disciples is still well within reach. Click To Tweet
Confusing the means with the goal
So much of our focus, at least in recent American history, has been on a program: the public worship service. But the worship service was never intended to be the goal. It was a means—one means of many possible means—to reach our true goal of making disciples. And what do we do with a means that no longer accomplishes the intended goal? Change it. What will accomplish our goals in 2021? How will we make disciples?The worship service was never intended to be the goal. It was a means—one means of many possible means—to reach our true goal of making disciples. Click To Tweet
Prayer for 2021
Here is my prayer for 2021: May we never be so focused on doing church that we forget to make disciples. May we, as individuals, families, and small groups of believers, rise up to do what really needs to be done at the grassroots level. May we model the life of Jesus, may we love and serve others sacrificially. May we help others grow in their faith even as we continue to grow in our own faith. May we speak the gospel with our actions and our words. And in the words of the Apostles as the gospel went out into the new territories of the gentiles, “We ask only that you should continue to remember the poor” (Galatians 2:9-10).
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