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hope for churches in stress

Something Old, Something New

As pandemic restrictions ease, you may be (more than) ready to return to church-life-as-usual. But first, take time to consider positive gains from the resourcefulness of churches this past year.

Without access to onsite mailboxes, churches enhanced websites, upgraded newsletters, and actively posted on social media. Can the Church go forward now with less paper?

Many churches shifted to virtual worship. Could online worship continue, alongside onsite worship, for the sake of housebound parishioners, vacationers, and weekend workers? Can a hybrid church better serve people who now, in their daily lives, move seamlessly back and forth between physical and digital interaction?

While physical proximity is ideal for communication, will zoom meetings still be useful? To expedite scheduling, save time and money, sidestep childcare, and bring people together from a distance, churches have another venue for face-to-face interaction.

After a long drought from direct, interpersonal contact, churchgoers may be more highly motivated to gather in small groups. Is this a “window of opportunity” for a renewed emphasis on small groups?

The rapid succession of adjustments during the pandemic has created (what management gurus call) a “culture of change” in many churches. While people are still accustomed to change, is this a good time to consider new patterns and approaches?

Is it possible to leverage the “fallout” from relational strains during a pandemic|election year? What can God's people learn about extending grace, asking for and receiving forgiveness, and repairing stressed relationships? Can brothers and sisters in Christ now wash away unholy attitudes and repair damaged relationships?

This is a good time for the Church—the bride of Christ—to consider the tradition of brides who wear “something old, something new.”

By taking advantage of both old patterns and new practices, God’s people may move closer toward the biblical description of the bride of Christ: a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27).


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