«Always leave a place better than you found it.” I have heard this quote all of my life, and I know people who live by this axiom. One can apply the principle to many areas of life, including the church. How do we make the church a “better place,” especially in today’s culture?
The very core of our lives was shaken in 2020. The foundation of everything we hold dear has been tried and tested. The church has been caught in the crosshairs of this fury. Worship looks different now. Hugs and times of personal renewal with fellow church members are now sweet memories seeking a needed comeback. On the frontline of this upheaval, we see a lone figure who is bearing the brunt of the frontal attack. A closer look reveals his identity…our pastor!
In a recent appeal to his congregation, a prominent Virginia pastor asked for prayer. Expressing the challenges COVID-19 has presented to his church, he revealed that pastors are not immune to the frustrations this pandemic has brought. Truthfully, it has had a profound impact on the church because of COVID-19 restrictions and the conflicting views of church members. No matter what decision is made, some will disagree. And with online worship, will members return when restrictions are lifted? Questions abound! There has never been a greater time for us to set aside our personal views to support our pastors and church leaders. So what can we do?
Consider the words of Mother Theresa: «God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.”
- Pray for your pastor.
- Pray for other church leaders.
- Pray that 2020 served as a catalyst to strengthen, not tear down, the church body.
- Pray alone.
- Pray with others.
- Become an encourager to your pastor and to fellow church members who are struggling.
- Determine to speak affirmatively, never yielding to the urge to complain or demean church leaders.
- Be part of the solution, knowing that God is a BIG God and He is able!!!!
We leave it in His hands! Truth be told, only He can make it better…and He will do so by using us as crucibles to “make it better than we found it.”
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.» – Isaiah 43:1
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in times of need. – Hebrews 4:16