What “phase” are we in? How long has it been now? I wonder what will be next? Will my job still be there? Oh, my job is already gone! When should we come back to meeting at church for worship?
I am sure that there are a ton of questions like these that are regularly flowing through your mind.
Your SCBI staff has been feeding information to you and your church leaders over the past 8 weeks seeking to help our churches find their way around all of these new concerns.
The concerns are real for our flesh, but they are not valid for our spirit. The Lord is in the midst of these times, working in your life (Phil 1:6, 2:13). It always excites me when you can see the hand of God working around you. I am serving as the interim pastor at Northside BC, in Indianapolis. Back in January, we decided to go through the book of Philippians. It has been a great and timely study.
Philippians 4 which hit in our schedule over the past week and this next week deal with two very relevant issues in our current time. One, how can we learn “the secret of being content?” The second one is just before Pauls’ benediction. He points out how blessed he is by the church in Philippi and by how giving they were toward Paul. That giving spirit also reveals itself through Paul’s grateful heart, which also leads to a content heart.
Paul lets the church know that he was thankful for the gift, BUT more importantly, “I seek the fruit that is increasing to your account.” Paul knew that their giving heart would be a blessing to others, but also back to them.
I remember Dr. Davis (former, SCBI Executive Director) saying that he “knew he couldn’t out give God. If the church or convention had a need, that we needed to continue being generous with God’s resources and that He would bless the church for it.” Giving makes deposits to your account so that when you are in need, there is room for a withdrawal.
How are you being a blessing to others during these strange days. Who around you needs some help? I have been blessed to hear about churches;
- opening their doors to a church plant for worship that normally meets in a local school.
- Churches working with each other to find resources like a grant for technical equipment.
- Pastors communicating to solve common problems.
- Associations getting together on zoom calls to talk through steps during these times.
- State staff on zoom calls, telephone calls, texts, emails to communicate with pastors and help them develop their plans for the next week or two.
- Ultimately, it is churches helping churches!!!
I know that this season will come to an end, but I also believe it will leave an indelible mark on us all and on how we minister in the days going forward. One thing I truly believe is that we need to get our pastors a week off during July. Why in July?
- It hits at a key time between the phases in re-opening worship.
- It hits between no church worship and trying to prepare for the fall.
- I believe our pastors need it. Whether or not you realize it, this has been a stressful time for pastors and leadership teams trying to educate themselves and sometimes outguess our politicians and health authorities in predicting what is coming next week.
It is my prayer that we will come out of this time better and more together so that we can impact Indiana with the gospel like never before.
Know that we pray for you regularly. If you are a pastor, I would love to see you on our weekly Pastors Connection zoom call. You should get an email invitation to attend each Wednesday at 1:30 PM EST. Email me with your questions, prayer requests or great stories about how God is walking you through this time (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also let Alison Blankenship (email@example.com) know if you are not receiving the email invitation. I would love to hear from you.
Until Next Time,