The church is God’s plan for his people. We are called the body of Christ and the body has a functionality that is greatly disrupted by disconnect. It’s extremely important for leaders to listen, pray, and use the necessary technological tools that will enable the local church to remain connected, serving, worshipping, and caring for one another during an indefinite time period of disconnect.
Today, many pastors are praying about how to lead their churches through this COVID-19 season of confusion, panic, and even public hysteria. This pandemic response is complicated on various different layers including medical, economic, and social situations that the entire world is seeking to navigate.
As the new language of social distancing is being employed by health officials—President Trump has announced a request for all mass gatherings to basically be eliminated. The new circle has been reduced to the size of a large family unit—only 10 people. Much of the media attention has been centered upon the gatherings of bars, restaurants, and schools—this season presents a great challenge to local churches as well. So, now the leaders of local churches are seeking to lead their congregations in such a way that allows for ministry connections without physical overlap and contact in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Stop Playing the Shame Game
First, I would encourage people to simply stop playing the shame game online. If you honestly believe that churches not gathering during this virus pandemic is a violation of Hebrews 10:25, please keep that to yourself and stop seeking to shame people by a misuse of the biblical text. It’s essential for Christians to comply with federal and state requirements on mass gatherings—as well as other state and federal laws. That’s our calling according to Romans 13. Furthermore, this is not a situation where Christians are being told to not worship God and that they must turn their back on the gospel in order to bow to Caesar. This is a unique season that requires us to use common sense, wisdom, and submission to our authorities—the very authorities that God has implemented for our good.