Here are 15 truths I believe:
1). Pastoral care continues to be important. Social media serves as an online commercial - folks still appreciate a call, email or text.
2). Online audience is just as important as the physical audience. You're speaking to those watching at home and in the pew.
3). The days of "packed in like sardines" could be over. For the next year or so, folks likely will want to sit one pew away from another worshiper. Months of social distancing will have a lasting impact.
4). Pastors are content creators. Whether it's a sermon, blog post, Facebook story, Instagram picture, or teaching handout - I'm constantly creating content.
5). TV, movies, sports, stock market, politics, video games = total waste of time. I love sports, but have realized I can live without watching Major League Baseball in April. I'll never forget when Andy Stanley was asked about how he had time to write a book. He answered, "I write them while you're watching TV."
6). Globalism is impacting the local church. Laws and events that occur in Europe and Asia, eventually impact people in Lexington, Kentucky. For example, our mission trip to Vermont this summer has been postponed because of the coronavirus. I never would have imagined in January or February, our trip in July wouldn't occur because of a virus that broke out in Wuhan, China.
7). Local missions excites people. Christians love serving their communities. Partnerships with schools, social services, sports teams, and immigrant communities - are all opportunities to meet needs and share the Gospel.
8). It could be July until churches are permitted to meet again. The reopening of the economy will likely come in stages, with churches being opened last.
9). The church's mission is not to create worship services for the lost. The presence of God is what folks find attractive.
10). Shorter becomes better. Alot of folks aren't going to listen to a 45-minute sermon on their laptop or phone. There are likely more distractions while trying to worship at home.
11). Event ministries could struggle - at least for a year or so. People will think twice about getting on a bus, sleeping in bunk beds at camp, and going out to dinner in large groups. The attractional model of church ministry, might not be as attractive.
12). Folks will find comfort in the old hymns of the Christian faith. During times of uncertainty, "How Great Thou Art," "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," "Blessed Assurance," and "It Is Well with My Soul" will be songs believers desire to sing.
13). Community is king. What keeps people attached to a local church are relationships. One of the ways our church is creating community - during the month of April, everyone's reading one chapter of Proverbs a day.
14). Online giving is the new offering plate. The 2020 usher doesn't pass a plate, he shares a link online to give.
15). Spiritual disciplines need to be preached and taught as priority. Bible reading, fasting and prayer - believers have more time to grow in these disciplines. Alot of believers are going to emerge stronger from this quarantine.
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