I am fully expecting that in 6-12 months when the Covid19 Virus has done its worst and the restrictions are lifted that a stack of people are going to come in through the physical doors of Inglewood Community Church and say, wow, this is what my church looks like on the inside. The screen is so huge and the band is massive. That Pastor Mark guy is a little skinnier than he looks on the screen and he moves around a lot.
God is not afraid of a virus and neither should the church be. The past four weeks have been some of the most taxing and difficult of my 25 year pastoral journey. We have battled anxiety, fear, the possibility of financial collapse and a total reimagination of what Church actually is.
The Church is in the business of gathering people. Whether it be youth programs, children’s programs or a Sunday Service, we bring people together for singing, for worship, for teaching, for discipleship and for encouragement and fellowship. We ask them to serve and be served. To help people say yes to Jesus.
Has that been taken away? No. The way we have done it is in recess, as it should be. The path of love in this season is physical seperation. But the gathering? Never before has the Church had such incredible tools available to it to gather people, to reach people, to worship and to serve.
At Inglewood we are struggling under the strain like everyone else. And I do not think the larger churches will cope any better than the small ones. The key to this season is innovation and agility. Being hopeful and purposeful.
Four weeks in we are reaching people we have never reached. We have reconnected with people we have lost touch with. And people are saying yes to Jesus.
Am I looking forward to meeting together again in a physical building? Absolutely. Do I want to go back to how things were. Absolutely not. This season is one to be capitalised. I can’t wait to shake the hands of people for the first time, people I have seen say yes to Jesus.