This blog is part two of the ‘Hope Experts’ series, a topic we’ll explore throughout 2020.
How The Church Can Bring Hope Now
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
That’s good advice for any time, but it seems particularly relevant during a pandemic, right? When was the last time nearly all, if not all, the humans on the planet were impacted by the same affliction?
As Christians, we are HOPE EXPERTS. We know where hope comes from, and where it comes from has nothing to do with our circumstances. That knowledge empowers us to be joyful in that hope, despite our circumstances. How can you and your church be Hope Experts?
My son’s amazing teacher, Mrs. Morris, previously led an after-school Bible study that my daughter attended. Last week, she was a pivotal organizer for a parade of cars in which teachers from the elementary school drove through all the communities where the kids of that school lived. It was incredible to see the joy on my son’s face as Mrs. Morris and dozens of other teachers drove by. I found myself in tears because in that moment, I knew hope and that brought joy.
Mrs. Morris is a HOPE EXPERT.
How are you encouraging the people in your church to be Hope Experts? The disruption caused by COVID-19 is not an excuse to get off mission, become focused inward, and stop sharing the Gospel. In fact, it is the exact opposite. We need to be doubly focused on reaching more people in their hopelessness, anxiety, and doubt. We need more Luke 15 moments of celebration when what was lost now is found.
How great would it be if your Church was so invested in reaching lost people in this season that your community was changed? What if the next time you found yourself in a restaurant (it WILL happen), you looked around and saw previously shaky marriages thriving, addicts in recovery, family units deeply bonded? All because of what you are doing right now?
We are in a unique season where we can all relate to each other easier than before. We’re in this together. Nearly all of humanity is feeling the pressures of social distancing and quarantine right now. We engage based off connections; and right now, we’re all connected in a way. We must turn this anxiety-ridden time into an opportunity to connect. What was once hopeless can be filled with hope – we are HOPE EXPERTS.
Hopelessness is heavy right now. But it was here before this, and it’ll continue to burden us after this. Marriages will still be falling apart. Children will still be disobedient. Mental health, financial stability, cancer, alcoholism, workaholism, boredom, cynicism, and jadedness will still chip away at your neighbors’ hope. We MUST be addressing those things NOW, as we are HOPE EXPERTS.
There is no better place to encounter the hope of Jesus Christ than in a church. And there is no more effective type of church for sharing the hope of Jesus Christ than a church plant. We don’t have to be within six feet of one another to know that is true. The hope of Jesus Christ will outlast this pandemic. We need to share it now – when people are possibly in a place to understand its importance more than ever.
Why not start thinking about planting a new church that has a mission of engaging people in discipleship online?
Why not start a digital campus that lasts beyond this pandemic and helps people encounter Jesus, grow in their faith, and reach out to others online?
Here are three places to get started:
1. Help accelerate digital/online church by giving now. We want the urgency church leaders are experiencing now to radically transform the future of the church, and Stadia has been working on this for months. The need for robust digital/online church is growing into more than just Sunday Service broadcasting – we need to be able to offer resources for ministry:
- Convene virtually for worship and teaching God’s Word.
- Build connection and community
- Be the Hands and feet of Jesus in a time when physical touch is limited
- Make the most of this opportunity to reach unchurched people who are searching for answers in the midst of the unknowns.
2. Share your resources. There is probably a mobile church plant, like mine, in your town that doesn’t have access to high-quality video and audio equipment for an online experience for their people. You probably do. Invite them to use yours if your local regulations permit small, socially-distanced groups to do that. Thanks to Donnie Williams (Lifepointe Church in Raleigh, NC) and Bert Crabbe (True North Community Church in Bohemia, NY) for this idea. What resources could you be sharing?
3. Join the conversation on Facebook. Every day, you are experiencing something new in this unprecedented season. When we share our experiences, good and bad, and share our thoughts, joys and fears, in community, we grow better, together.
Since 2003, Matt has been involved as a volunteer leader and/or staff member in the early stages of four church plants. Two of these churches benefited from Stadia, so he has experienced first-hand how partnering with Stadia benefits churches. Matt has his MBA and has worked in project management in the medical research and development field. Previously Matt has served Stadia as the Director of Global Church Planting and Operations Executive. His passion is to maximize church planting through leadership and bringing clarity to the leaders he serves.