You and Your Church After COVID-19

A few days ago, I wrote about how the world needs an empowered church. The path to becoming an empowered church begins with individuals. I have talked with many pastors and other leaders since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. One of the things we have consistently discussed is that we know the church will be different after this. However, none of us have any idea exactly how the church will be different.

I imagine that some may miss the role the church played in their life. They will be eager to return and re-engage in their ministry functions. I imagine others will have experienced a sense of relief for not feeling obligated to attend and they may very well not return. Others may be in the middle.

Engagement in ministry may be a good indicator of spiritual health. Now, to be clear, no one can assess that for another person. Still, it is hard to argue Jesus (Matthew 7:21),

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Also notice the words of Christ to the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:1 – 6. Jesus said, “…you have a NAME that you are alive…” (emphasis added).

When I read this again today, I pondered an important question. Am I a Christian in name only? Have I taken on the name of Christ as a label without really being a spiritually alive Christian?  

Honestly, I do believe our role (or lack of role) in the church will be an issue we need to consider after COVID-19.

  1. Will we re-engage?

  2. Will we stay away because we didn’t miss it much in the first place?

  3. Will we engage more than we did before COVID-19 because we now realize how little we were engaged?

  4. Will we be more passionate about our ministry than we were before?

Spiritually, I don’t want to use the term “Christian” as only a label. I want to be focused on the mission that Jesus gave the church. To do that, I need to be engaged in the life and service of the church.

What Does the Church Have to Do with My Spiritual Life?

As a pastor, I am confronted with this question a lot. The answer is actually simple. It is not simply accepted, but it is a simple answer. The New Testament is replete with references to the church as the Body of Christ (e.g., Ephesians 4:1 – 6). If you are a Christian, the Bible says you are a member of the whole Body of Christ. Also, the New Testament affirms that you should be involved in a local Body of Christ.

In case you are wondering where this is written, it is in most of the New Testament. The books of Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Colossians, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Philippians, Galatians, and Revelation were all written to specific local churches. That fact itself affirms the need for the local church.

There’s also this important passage in Ephesians 4:11 – 12:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ

An important reason you need to be involved in a local church is to help you become equipped to do service (ministry). To be clear, not all service (ministry) occurs inside the walls of the church. In fact, I would suggest that mission-focused ministry is almost always done outside the walls of the church. However, we all still need to be equipped.

We are in need of a church full of people who are engaged in ministry. Yes, it’s nice when the music is good. It’s nice when the sermon is entertaining. It’s better when the Body of Christ is transformed into witnesses of Christ and are engaged in ministry. That is how the church will fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19 – 20).

Hebrews 10:23 – 25 says this,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

There are several purposes here for gathering together in the context of worship:

  1. Stimulate one another to love

  2. Stimulate one another to good deeds

  3. Encouraging one another

Whether you have been involved in your church or not in the past, now is a good time to get involved. The world needs a strong Body of Christ that is working to fulfill the Great Commission. The Lord needs you to be about His business in the world. Get involved!

The writers in Psalm 85:6 prayed,

Will You not Yourself revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?

My prayer is the Lord will revive us as we prepare our hearts to be transformed by His Spirit.