Hello faith family and friends,
We are living in bizarre and challenging days. Our staff has been faithful this week to prepare a ministry response that will help our church continue to thrive, despite the coronavirus pandemic. We have prayed, searched Scripture, discussed options, thought outside the box, and listened to much counsel.
Tonight, I want to share with you a few decisions we have made pertaining to our future:
1) There will be NO on-campus gathering, meeting, or congregating at our facility through Friday, April 3rd. Our office hours will remain the same and our staff will be here to serve you and our community. But, we believe that it is imperative for us to suspend ALL on-campus gathering and we must rethink how we are going to “do church” amid this pandemic.
2) Second, we will continue to exalt God together utilizing a different and innovative online method until April 3rd.
Here is what you can expect:
a. Our Sunday morning service will be broadcast live at 10:30 AM on our YouTube channel, which is accessible through Facebook, our church webpage, or on the YouTube app. During this service, Ron will lead us in singing. We will pray. I will preach. Brad will provide sermon helps and discussion material online that will coincide with the sermon. This Sunday we will begin a sermon series from the book of Jonah, preparing by reading through the book before Sunday. I encourage you to gather with your family prepared to participate.
b. During the week, we plan to provide multiple opportunities to remain connected to our church through online resources. Don will continue to provide Student Ministry updates and a Wednesday night worship experience. Jill will continue sending out curriculum and discipleship ideas that can be used with our children. Brad will develop discipleship materials that can be utilized in the home or in groups less than 10.
3) Third, we are going to serve our community. If you are a church member and are willing to volunteer your time or resources to help with community needs, then we ask that you contact Brad Ballard in our office. He will be coordinating an effort to minister to our community in creative ways! Stay tuned for future updates.
Why are we going to an online platform?
Listen, our staff has agonized over these decisions. Gathering together in person is a pillar of our church. So please understand we made these decisions with much heartbreak.
We are going to an online platform for two reasons:
1. We want to love our neighbor well. We want to be a wise community partner. We believe this decision is going to display love for those in our community who are most vulnerable: the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. We believe by making this decision we will show love and support for those in our medical community: Praise God for their commitment to our community.
2. We want to submit to the recommendations of our governing authorities. Romans 13:1 says “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” So, in light of the President’s remarks and CDC recommendations we feel it necessary at this time to move to an online platform.
How can I participate?
1. Worship with us. Join us on Sunday morning.
2. Pray with us. Participate in upcoming interactive online prayer meetings.
3. Study with us. Disciple your family. Your neighbors. Your friends.
4. Stay connected. Connect with your church family. Connect with your Sunday school class, your discipleship small group, and with your pastoral staff.
If you need assistance in connecting with our church, technology issues, or you know someone in our church who may not be able to connect; please contact one of our staff so we can help.
There are 4 ways that you can give to our church:
1. Call your bank and have them send it to us.
2. Put it in the mailbox.
3. Bring it by the church. Our office hours will not be changed.
4. Contact us and we will come pick it up!
5. Online (More to come on that tomorrow.)
If you need assistance giving to our church; please contact one of our staff so we can help. Your faithful giving is vital to the ministry of our church.
During this difficult and unprecedented time in our nation’s history, we have an incredible opportunity church. Yes, this pandemic has interrupted our lives but it has not taken God by surprise. It is obviously an interruption to our schedule. But, we must see interruptions as invitations to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. This pandemic has definitely created challenges and obstacles in our lives but for God an obstacle is an opportunity to show His glory! I have told you before – God doesn’t inhabit a building made with human hands. He dwells in the hearts and lives of His people!
James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
So, church, let’s turn this turmoil into a platform – A platform to shine the light of Jesus. A platform by which we break free from our Sunday self-righteous comfort zone and love our neighbor through service and sacrifice.