September 21, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Something Horrific to Something Good

In Matthew 16:18(KJV), Jesus told Peter, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

And the good news for us today is: Neither shall the Coronavirus prevail against Jesus’ church!

When this virus is nothing more than a fleeting memory, His church will still be going strong!

And it has been nothing short of amazing for me to watch God turn something horrific into something good.

It was horrific when we were told we could no longer congregate in our church buildings, except in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Governor. (Ten people or less, 6 feet apart, at all times.)

It’s amazing to me how unimportant many of our church programs and traditions became when faced with this dire dilemma.

However, one pastor told of looking at the empty church building and realizing that Jesus had simply “deployed” His church!

With one virus Jesus accomplished what pastors haven’t been able to accomplish, period. He set aside church ritual, traditions, and pomp and circumstance.

He got His church outside the church walls! Suddenly, pastors and church leaders learned to fluently speak Facebook, U-tube, Zoom, PayPal, and other Internet entities.

Then, some even went back to the old Brush Arbor Days and reinstituted Outdoor or Drive-in Church. Some have even purchased low wattage radio transmitters so their congregation can listen via their car radio as they worship. Necessity is indeed the Mother of Invention!

What is the net result of the Coronavirus on the church? Pastors who were preaching to ten, twenty, or fifty people, on any given Sunday morning, are now reaching hundreds!

I’m hearing reports where people are getting saved via Internet broadcasts! And while many feared that local church finances would go through the floor, I’m hearing reports where churches are seeing very little appreciable drop in their finances, and some are experiencing the best giving they’ve had in quite some time.

Maybe some remembered that old-fashioned check writing and the US Mail still work! And I’m hearing where church folk are checking on each other, running errands for the most at-risk among us, who dare not venture outside – even to the grocery store or the pharmacy. Churches are buying meals, prepared by local restaurants, picking them up via drive-through, and delivering them to health agencies, first responders, and others.

Many sewing ministries have developed in our churches, providing masks for those in need of them. Prayer ministries are flourishing. And the simple truth of the matter is that while our church buildings may be closed for now, Jesus’ church is very open for business and doing better than it has in a long time! Why, just the other day, Fox News featured Franklin Graham telling people how to be saved on nationwide secular television! Wow! The church has once again begun to operate as the church!

All too often, we tend to focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s right.

Merle McMillian, Pastor Jimmy’s wife at Baptist Tabernacle in LaGrange Georgia, captured the essence of this truth when she said, “I’ve been very enlightened recently by comments made by many uneducated people.”  Amen Sister Merle; amen! (lol!)

Neither the Gates of Hell nor this Coronavirus will prevail against Jesus’ Church.

This Coronavirus will pass! But you know what? When it does, I hope and pray that His church will incorporate the good things we’ve learned as we watched Him turn something horrific into something good, – AND THAT WE WILL NEVER GO BACK TO “BUSINESS AS USUAL!”

Please remember to pray for your church – and to continue to support financially!

Brother Aaron

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