The census is being taken, the politics of an election year are vitriolic, and the weather is getting hotter fast — all while we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. What a strange summer it could turn out to be as we seek to worship and grow together spiritually while adjusting to so many variables we didn’t anticipate this year.
As church goers, faith leaders, and Jesus-followers, we have had to navigate uncharted territory these last few months. For the first time, we have had to prayerfully consider what is both wise and prudent for our worship gatherings in the months ahead.
The church questions for the second half of the year remain front and center as we seek to worship and serve together.
Most of us throughout the Midwest will be contending with the effects of this pandemic — and the bitter political divide — in our houses of worship for the foreseeable future.
From a leadership point of view, here are five suggestions to put our faith into action and keep Christ at the center of our church activities this summer:
Recognize that the need to worship collectively is real, in spite of the pandemic. Whether your church is worshiping online or with some sort of modified in-person services, it’s important to understand that the pandemic has caused a void in our spiritual life that will take some time to fill.
Exercise kindness in speaking with church members about their experiences. We know that the coronavirus affected everyone differently and will continue to do so. Understanding that we all cope differently is the first step in showing kindness to our Christian brothers and sisters.
Remember politics has no place in the church. As electionyear mudslinging becomes ever more divisive, we are wise to remember that Jesus was neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and political parties are best left outside our walls of worship.
We are to reach out to the hurting. Now more than ever because the coronavirus has hit fellow Christians (and non-believers) in ways that are often too painful to admit.
Christian service starts with you and me. It isn’t ‘someone else’s’ job to reach out this summer. Christ tells us that we are to meet the needs of those around us.
Questions surrounding worship will remain this summer, but demonstrating compassion and grace will go a long way toward getting those questions answered.