Much has changed over the past year. At the same time, it feels like the world changed overnight. I believe we would agree that the source of this shift is the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic is cause for concern, some good can come out of this because of the opportunities our present circumstances afford us. Like many others, I believe that this is a watershed moment. Moments like these present unique challenges and opportunities. They also challenge us to grow by adding new programs, structures, and capacities while moving away from some established ones.

Based on the testimony of Scripture we have the full assurance that the church of God will not go under, and history bears this out as well. While the Church will not fail, we must not ignore the possibility that individual churches can at the least be disadvantaged or at worst from time to time. At times we can take the perpetuity of the Church as license to stay the course when there is a need to adjust so that we do not run aground. Of course, this is not a green light to throw out everything and start from ground zero.

Thom S. Rainer in his book, The Post- Quarantine Church, identifies six challenges that churches must address considering the COVID-19 pandemic. They are as follows:

1. Gather Differently and Better
2. Seize Your Opportunity to Reach the Digital World
3. Reconnect with the Community Near Your Church
4. Take Prayer to a New and Powerful Level
5. Rethink Your Facilities for Emerging Opportunities
6. Making Lasting Changes that Will Make a Difference

It is along these lines that we as individuals, and corporate bodies, guide our thoughts and actions as we are considering how to live out our faith in 2021 beyond.

I know that many of our churches have made changes to their programming to remain relevant and serve their communities. Some changes were made because there was no way to move forward otherwise. There may be a great temptation to see these adjustments as temporary measures until the pandemic blows over. I would suggest that we consider the possibility, and likely reality, that once the pandemic subsides things may never be the same again. I would also hope that the conscientious reader would admit that some things needed to change for a little while now but resistance to change held the calls for innovation at bay.

Some consideration should be given to making further, and long-term, adjustments beyond bare necessities. Nostalgia could lead us to lament about how good things were at the expense of how great they could be. We have an opportunity to rebrand the way that we live out God’s call to be witnesses to every kindred, tribe, tongue, and people. We have an opportunity to reach people, and to engage local members in new and meaningful ways. We can redeem the time because all is not lost.

This article is written by Pastor Kareem L. Black, South Andros & Mangrove Cay District.

This article was extracted from the Logos for May 1, 2021.