March 16, 2021
NewPointe isn’t a perfect church, but we are a healthy church. That is why we have been able to withstand the COVID-19 crisis that has changed our entire world, and even expand during a worldwide crisis that has closed many, many churches.
It was one year ago that COVID-19 hit America. At the urging of medical experts who acknowledged from the start that this was completely unknown territory, but very dangerous, we did not gather for approximately eight months. This was not because of fear, but because our priority of following Jesus in all of life mandated that we do what was most responsible for the care of the weakest and least among us, and also to obey the government in any way that did not conflict with obedience to God.
Eight plus months of 2020 and then about three in 2021 so far… that’s a lot of life to consider. Socrates’ claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. The claim is that only in striving to come to know and understand ourselves do our lives have any meaning or value.
That claim may be a little harsh, but what a truth. Having the insight to understand what makes us who we are; why we respond the way we do; what excites us and drives our passion; and what challenges us and produces negative thoughts. Surely, this self-awareness is the basis for doing life well and having success. A year of so many changes, so many unknowns, unprecedented time alone with very few others, the way the Church has adapted to still reach and connect—there are so many reasons to examine the past year and reflect on what we have discovered.
Here are a few of my reflections:
The church is not a place—it is a people. Church is not a building! We are a living, breathing body. The church is a family, not a fortress! We are a people, not a place! We’re an army of servants, not an event of attendees. We are contributors, not consumers. A crowd is not a church. Church is so much more than a weekend service! The church operates 168 hours a week!
NewPointe’s strategy of pursuing three vital relationships by connecting with God, connecting with others, and helping others connect with God gives us the stability and maturity that makes us impervious to storms. Our unchanging foundation allows us to be fast, fluid, and flexible with the times. We saw that over and over again through this last year.
Relationships are more important than we realize. We cannot experience a healthy and fulfilling life without mental health. The struggles of the year have affirmed that man was not meant to live alone, but in community.
The COVID-19 crisis forced the CEOs through the factory-line workers to slow down. That gave all of us more time for family. Many families were strengthened, and their bonds renewed as they realized how important they were to each other.
COVID-19 revealed a fundamental weakness in the church. The church is to gather, of course, yet we were missing the fact that really the church is about connecting with God, connecting with others, and helping others connect with God. It’s not a place—it’s what we do.
Christians today lack biblical discernment. They make significant political decisions based on political values instead of biblical values. By and large, Christians do not have a biblical worldview—they vote through their political views.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. The church (people) really needs to strengthen their spiritual muscles to survive, thrive, and lead in this kingdom.”
God has used COVID-19 to get people’s attention. People in general have thought more about the eternal than since September 11, 2001. People typically don’t turn to God during good times.
Life is fragile. It can turn quick and fast with respect for no one: rich or poor, famous or unknown, Christian or pagan. Circumstances can radically change without warning.
The American church really doesn’t understand what it means to be persecuted for the faith. Little political inconveniences cause us to believe we are harassed. Around the world, Jesus-followers are experiencing true persecution for Jesus. We really need to toughen up because our day is coming.
God is faithful—the local church is truly the hope of the world when we are living and teaching the truth of Jesus Christ.
This past year has been a great opportunity for the church to mature and grow and seize the opportunities a crisis has given us to impact the world for Jesus.
What have you learned? Share it with us!