We all need encouragement to be prepared for the fallout of the shelter in place experience. It will have an effect on our congregants both personally and financially. These effects will certainly be felt in the church. I encourage all of us to realize we are partners in this journey. Let’s reach out to one another, call on the District staff for assistance, and share prayer requests with one another.
We are not alone!
Watch the video above or read the transcription below:
Hey CPD team…today’s video is actually coming to you from my office in Woodland. Yes, I’m still maintaining six-foot social distancing, but being here at the office is just sometimes necessary!
Delighted to hear the stories of God at work in the midst of our CPD family.
Thanks for sharing video updates, for leading with creativity, candor, and godly character! I’m so grateful how each of you have responded to the COVID-19 challenge.
In one of my earlier videos I spoke about the transition from a sprint to a marathon. And in this marathon where many of you have gone from brick and mortar to digital and video, a brief encouragement today - “Stepping into the Future.”
The apostle Paul understood this all too well. He could write of finishing the race, keeping the faith, fighting the good fight. And it was in this context that in 2 Tim 4:9 he makes the following request of Timothy – “do your best to come to me soon.”
Can you relate? Shelter in place is starting to drive some of us stir crazy. I long for a dinner party, a social night out with friends, but there’s more going on here than mere loneliness.
Paul needs his colleagues in the journey. And we need the same.
Whether you’re a solo pastor or the pastor of multi-staff church, right now we need companions in the journey. And friends, your CPD team is committed to begin journeying with you in new ways as we figure this out together. We don’t have the answers, not even sure we have the right questions yet…but we would love to hear from you.
What does journeying look like as we step into the future, the post-COVID-19 world?
Paul, you may remember, had been deserted. Luke alone was with him, now he even longed for his former colleague Mark. And add to it, there was the pain of Alexander the coppersmith who had done him great harm. Paul writes of being rescued from the lion’s mouth. As we step together into the future, I’ve yet to hear anyone talk about the Alexander’s, the equivalent of the lion’s mouth.
But let’s beware…as COVID-19 has given us tremendous opportunity, it’s also an occasion for both enemy and friendly fire.
Some of you are already experiencing it. From strange and virulent temptations, to congregants who in time will be angry over something you did wrong in this current environment, Satan’s not giving up!
And so stepping into the future requires both companions and care because spiritual warfare is going to ratchet up. From a slew of issues related to mental health, to addictions succumbed to, to abuse, marital conflicts, unemployment, financial stresses, you name it…the future is going to include a rash, maybe a pandemic of social issues the church will have to address.
Navigating online services may pale in comparison with negotiating the people issues heading our way.
I encourage you - get ready by remembering the words of Paul;
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.”
And He will. But in the in-between time, dust off your counselling books, gear up your support teams, and put on the whole armor of God. A wave is about to crash our way!
Just want to mention in conclusion that your CPD team remains praying for you and your churches. Please reach out to us with your requests. We stand ready to help where we can. And thanks for the faithful DPF giving of your churches. Income in March was off budget by over $20,000. We’ve trimmed all expenses, but remember your gifts continue to help us serve.
We still have missions to engage, churches to empower, pulpits to fill, new churches to plant. Your partnership is vital to the work of God in the CPD.
We love and appreciate you.