Regathering the Church
May 7th, 2020 / By: Brett Hoyle | pastor, FBC Friona / comments
Brothers and Sisters, May is already here and Lord willing, we will be able to begin regathering with our local churches for worship this month. Although the specific plans for every church will vary in countless ways, here are two important considerations as we approach this time.
First, the goal of the church is not a return to normal. If normal is our goal then it has become our idol and we miss what God is seeking to do in us and through us. Remember the Israelites’ regular reminiscing about the good ole days back in Egyptian slavery as God led them to the Promised Land (Exodus 16:3; 17:3; Numbers 11:4-5; 14:2; 16:13; 20:3-5)? Their fears and idolatry led them into a 40-year detour, as an entire generation wasted away in the wilderness. God regards our bellyaching with no more admiration; therefore beware of idolizing those good ole ‘normal’ days. When churches begin to regather for corporate worship there will be differences and adjustments from a couple months ago, but God remains the same, therefore, we rely on him, not a sense of comfort derived from a cushion of normalcy.
Second, as church leaders think through regathering, we must be prayerful purposeful and prudent.
We must be prayerful, seeking the Lord’s guidance to be clear, for his glory to be displayed and for people to be drawn to Christ. Pray diligently, passionately and regularly for God to move as we regather.
We must be purposeful. What is the biblical purpose for worship and gathering as a church? The Scripture gives us clear purpose that supersedes circumstances calling us to be a redeemed people gathering to worship God intentionally, discipling and being discipled in the truth, and taking the gospel to the lost. The coronavirus has impacted the economy, school schedules, vacations and much more, but it has not changed the purpose Christ has given his church! Stay focused on his purpose and make the most of the time at hand.
Finally, we must be prudent as we make plans to regather. Prudence is the ability to make wise, reasonable, practical and skillful decisions in light of present risks. Prudence derived from scriptural wisdom, the Holy Spirit and wise counselors is essential as church leaders seek the Lord’s clear guidance for their congregation’s regathering. Prudent decisions will vary among congregations, but they must be birthed in prayer and flow from the purpose Christ has given his church.
As churches seek to regather, please be in prayer for your church leaders to be prayerful, purposeful and prudent in their planning, and that believers not miss what God is doing in and through the church as a result of this crisis.