As restrictions start to lift and buildings reopen the question on so many lips is; should we start meeting on a Sunday morning again? Well, I would like to pose another question.
What would God like the church to do on a Sunday morning?
Be at home having a leisurely brunch with family? Worshipping with other believers? Observing a sabbath? Working in the garden? Connecting with the vulnerable in the community? Digging deep into scripture?
Let me suggest something: a violent end was brought about to this last season. An end to how we meet as church, an end to how we plan and organise our time, an end to how we connect with people (let me just take a moment to make it explicitly clear, before we go any further, that I am not implying that this virus was the work of God, rather that God can work immeasurable good through everything and anyone).
In short, a season died. We were then taken into a period of solitude. We are now starting to be called out of it.
What is it that God wants us to build, now? What should we be creating out of the pieces that remain?
If you want to get back to how it was pre-lockdown. If all you want is for your Sunday meetings to start again, as a church goer or a leader, I would argue that you have missed some of the intent of God’s heart for this time.
How was your church, really? Was it all you wanted it to be? Did you host the presence of God every Sunday? Did you not just sing, but really worship? Was there supernatural unity between every believer there? Were people becoming more like Jesus every single day? Were people coming to you in crisis because they knew you were a house of supernatural solutions? Were the finances stewarded with bold faith? Did it look like New Testament church?
Before us is a huge, exciting, rare opportunity to reform how we church. Let’s not waste it by blindly returning to a room that God has led us out of.
How we build in this new season won’t look the same for every church, all I urge is that you strive for it to not look exactly the same as it did before.
Find the dreamers amongst your acquaintances, find the people who feel the heart of God, find the people whose lives model something that makes you hungry and ask them what they think church could be. Even better, find yourself at the feet of the Father, listening, writing down, scoring onto your heart His plan for the time ahead.
It’s scarier out here in a space with no structure, in a place where all that really holds us is our relationships with each other and the very fundamentals of our faith. But, it’s also roomier here, it’s stretchier and easier to try something new, to build something from scratch, to find new ways of doing things.
Let’s pause a little while longer, rest a moment in the Father’s presence and let Him share His heart for what’s to come.
Whatever it is God re-forms as we return, it will be something that connects us to Him, something that connects us to each other, something that sees the sick healed, debts written off, food multiplied and the destiny over nations radically overhauled.
Trust Him. With your Sunday morning, with your expectation of church, with your everything.
Let Him reform so we don’t just return.
Fancy another inspiring read? ‘Being discipled through family – Owen Day’