We must expose these 5 lies that the American church believes and replace them with truths that will lead us to victory.
Lie #1. The Church is Dead.
The American church is facing the biggest test in the last 100 years. The church looks dead or dying. Is the church squirming in sinking sand? Some are. Others will survive.
In a recent interview with NPR, David Kinnaman, president of the prominent Christian research organization Barna Group, revealed that as many as one in five churches could permanently close as a result of the shutdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, within the next 18 months.
Every movement is as good as its leadership. I believe the church leaders in America are trained, informed, and prepared to lead the church through this crisis. America has the best leaders in the world. We also have the most anointed.
Let’s not forget, the anointing breaks every yoke. The church has a big yoke around its neck — a yoke of restraint, resistance, and opposition. That does not mean the church will fail.
In the past, opposition and resistance have served to build and expand the church. Persecution only made the church stronger.
On that day, a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. (Acts 8:1, NKJV)
Did you notice that persecution broke out against the church? Did you see the result? The church scattered. This scattering was due to fear. People were afraid they were going to be arrested and even killed for their faith. But as the church scattered, the Gospel spread to the known nations of the world.
COVID-19 has not been kind to the American church. But God will turn all things around for His church. (Romans 8:28)
Lie #2. Pastors are Burned Out.
Pastors are working harder than ever. The stress is real. I am hearing a lot about how hard it is for Pastors. Pastors make a big mistake by reaching for pity rather than walking in power. Yes, COVID-19 is vicious and ransacked the church and the attendance.
But, the pastors I know are up for the challenge.
COVID-19 was a lifeboat for many Pastors. COVID-19 shut down counseling, appointments, and business meetings. We quarantined for eight weeks in Texas. This created time for refreshing, prayer, study, and recreation. Pastors have prayed for time to pray and time to study. COVID-19 made that possible.
As Pastors, we must take our own medicine. We tell others to minister from their overflow. The virus and the new normal is the catalyst to more time with God and His word.
I am not a spiritual superman, and neither am I self-righteous. The reason I can write this is due to my own failures. I have burned out in years past. I learned that my ministry was only as effective as my prayer life and my marriage.
My heart goes out to the burned-out Pastor. But not all Pastors are burned out.
Many Pastors are ready to go forward, take risks, and take the church higher.
Lie #3. The Church Won’t Recover Until the Virus is Under Control.
The mission of the church has not changed. COVID-19 changed the methods, but not the mission. The Pandemic changed our gatherings, but not our mission and purpose. Many are confused about the identity of the church. The church is not a building, entity, or organization. The church is a group of believers called by God.
The church is an organism. COVID-19 changed the way we do church but did not stop us from doing church. We are not forced to wait for the virus to leave or the spreading to lower. Wise church leaders can make wise decisions. Church people are among the wisest people on the planet. We can protect the elderly and the sick, wash our hands, wear masks, social distance, and trust God. Some will gather even if it’s risky.
Yes, we should be safe, but we do not have to be afraid.
We can control the spread of the virus by being safe and wise.
Lie #4. The Church is Screened Out
Carey Nieuwhof said, “people are screened out on things that aren’t interesting to them”
Yes, people are screened out on bad content.
But they are not screened out? At least not yet anyway.
I have heard many share the struggle with Zoom meetings. I understand. Few people like meetings. Very few people enjoy excellent in-person meetings.
But online digital content is not in decline. Please, do not fool yourself. People are online, every day.
What is in decline is an online ministry done poorly. Few people watch poor TV or low budget movies. Why do we believe that poor lighting, lousy music quality, and poor content is enticing? It isn’t.
The church must improve their digital presence. Digital ministry and online presence is the single best opportunity to reach our region and win hundreds and thousands to the Lord. Don’t give up on the importance of having an online presence.
Lie #5. We Must Wait this Season Out
Why wait? Instead, take risks. Playing it safe is more dangerous than taking risks.
Our church launched a capital campaign in August.
We are not waiting on change; we are creating it.
“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.”
— Srinivas Rao
Nothing about 2020 is normal. So why should you be normal or do what everyone else is doing?
Do the abnormal. Think outside the box.
The church must inspire people and offer real solutions to life’s everyday problems.
The future of the church is in our hands.
And that is not a lie.
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