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Is the Church Essential?

Is the church essential?

When Will the Church Open?

For weeks now President Trump has been begging for churches to open up. From the beginning, he expressed his desire to get the churches packed for Easter. It would be a great thing. It would be a beautiful thing.

Remember? He acknowledged Easter would be too soon, but for the last few weeks, President Trump has said it was time for churches to responsibly reopen. He declared churches essential. However, for the most part, churches have remained closed.

Hairdressers have opened back up. Restaurants are opening back up. Grocery stores and hardware stores never closed.

Where do churches fall in the pecking order of essential?

Why Today’s Church is Unessential

The problem I have with churches remaining closed is not that they are closed; it is the reasons they give. They defer to the governors that are still requesting us to be closed. We are awaiting permission from the state. We feel it may put our people in danger. We don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers.

What I haven’t heard (and I’m sure there are some exceptions) is that they have prayed, and still have felt now is not the time.

Every answer I hear tells me that these churches are not really essential. They give the impression that they are being led by consensus instead of Divine leading. They would rather be directed by the governmental laws and the opinions of the press than following the examples of Peter and John saying they needed to follow God (Acts 4:19).

The Church Should Be the Example of Lives Filled with God

Church is more than teaching the word of God or spending time in worship. If that was all it was, we can all stay at home and watch online. No, pastors are called to lead people into connecting with God and to show them how to impact their world.

During this season, the church has been given an opportunity to be an example to the world that we serve a living God. He is bigger than this virus. He is bigger than all the confusion and gives us peace. And, more importantly, He has conquered death and the grave.

We have had a chance to walk forth in faith. For the most part, churches have been no different than any other organization.

  • John the Baptist spoke out against King Herod for marrying his brother’s wife.
  • Elijah spoke out against the evil done by Ahab and Jezebel.
  • Moses went before Pharaoh to demand the freedom of the Israelites.
  • Where is the outcry for the church today?

What Will Awaken the Church?

The only outcry I have seen by the churches is for the killing of George Floyd. While this was terrible, does nobody find it strange about the timing? This happens just days after Biden states that if you haven’t decided to choose him over Trump, “you ain’t black.” Just a couple weeks before that, Jaden Hayden, videotaped himself beating his 75 year old white male patient in a Detroit nursing home. There was no church outcry about these events.

I haven’t heard the press worry over the potential resurgence of Covid cases as the protesters have not been wearing masks or concerned about their shouting chants. But the churches are fine with the restrictions of not allowing singing when they meet and limiting people to at most 100 people for fear of being super-spreader environments.

Please don’t mishear me. All death is terrible. Racism is real and is an abomination before God. This isn’t about Trump saying churches should open or not.

However, the church is being swept under the rug as having nothing to offer of value to the world.

  • How long will the church wait?
  • How safe do we need it to be?
  • What things are we willing to part with to appease these new laws?
  • What will we need to do to make the world see we have something of value?

What Should the Church Do?

Suicide rates are sky-rocketing across the nation. People are getting angry not being able to work and provide for themselves and their family. Marriages and families are struggling with the forced time together without tools to handle it. Why are we doing sitting on our hands waiting for permission?

This is not a post about whether the church should open or not; it is about looking to God and stepping out in faith. Maybe it will be right for your church not to open, but your faith journey may take you door to door delivering food to families in need. Maybe your faith journey would be partnering with hospitals to offer prayer and support to families who can’t visit their loved ones that have been admitted. I’m sure it will be different for each church. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever it is, God will join you in the process. It will stretch you to uncomfortable places. But, through that journey, Jesus will be found and given away to others. I believe this is the pathway toward essential.

11 thoughts on “Is the Church Essential?”

  1. l believe Church as we know it has come to and end….a return to the early church as in the Book of acts….not meeting in a building but being led by Holy Spirit where to go and when…Gods speed….Marlene Wagg

    1. Marlene, thanks for the comment. I don’t know if that is true, but I can see why you say it. May we all be I tune with the Spirit’s leading, even if it’s in new ways.

  2. I like this post and while my local church is still closed, I believe we have become more visible during this time. My Pastor visited my home and was on the way to visiting other members to offer encouragement. That has never happened before, at least to me. We have been distributing bread and grocery items to needy families in the community in a more widespread way. There has been more sharing and reaching out among members. So for me, while the physical structure remains closed, the church is very much up and running, maybe more now than before. Rebecca B.

    1. Dear Rebecca,

      That is a wonderful story. Thank you for adding here to encourage others. Maybe a lot more churches are doing this that are just quietly and faithfully serving their members. I’m glad that you feel your church is navigating these times well.

      Blessings,
      Kevin

  3. GEDEON KASEREKA MASHAURI

    Hello Kevin,

    I appreciate so much to hear from you. You are right that it is a sad to see how the Church supposed to be an example of hope in this hopeless world is not depend on God to deals with issues within our societies, rather depend on the government to direct them. Recently, I have been reflecting and praying about evangelicals worldwide knowing different leaders have impacted Christianity in one way or another. I believe if there is a time the church should wake up and pray it is now. We really need God’s revelation to direct our paths in what is His will for us. I appreciate your initiative Kevin to call people for prayer and be obedient to His voice as He leads and guides us on a daily basis. I am shocked about what is happening in Minneapolis and I think the church should be united in prayer and speak out. We real need revival of the body of believers to mind Kingdom business as opposed to earthly ambitions.

    Many Blessings,
    Gideon

    1. Dear Gideon,

      Thank you for adding your comment about what you are feeling the Lord say to you. I agree that now is the time for churches to unite in prayer. I feel things can turn quickly as we dive into the heart of God together. God is so creative and has made us all uniquely. After going into His presence, it may still look like we are going several different directions, but because He is with us, we become a mighty wave driving back darkness.

      Thanks again for sharing.
      Kevin

  4. Is the Church Essential? Yes, whether in a building or in a home, it’s presence must be seen and felt in the world! Jesus said in Matt 16:18 to Peter “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail” But many denominations have not allowed Jesus to do that! Hence the church can seem non essential in our society except when they do ‘good works’ but not what Jesus meant when He spoke to Peter! Then church is subject to men’s schedules, time table, ideas, and timidity that can render the WORD OF GOD to not much effect – the church is then just a club and Spirit led believers who do not get a say in the running of such churches might as well meet in homes as is being done by many persecuted believers in many parts of the world today!

    1. Dear Liliana,

      Thank you for sharing what you are feeling the Lord say to you. I appreciated how you broke out the difference between the body of Christ and the church building. You are correct. The church is much more than a club. May each of us follow the leading of the Spirit in all that we do.

      Blessings,
      Kevin

  5. Awesome post Kevin. I love your heart and passion for the church to go back to praying, hearing and ACTING on what they feel God is saying. Think about the foundation of this Christian nation we live in? It wasn’t founded by a group of people that followed all the governmental rules and wishes. It was about a group of people who followed God and they were in total opposition to the government of the day. If we look at US history, the people of God defied the rules. Now I hear our church leaders say over and over we live in a Christian nation and we need to follow exactly what the government tells us to do. So the opposition of the Christians at the foundation of our country was the last opposition Christian should ever have again in history? Our government is coming up with more and more rules directly in opposition to God’s word. What are we going to do church?

    1. Jeff,
      Thank you for sharing this here. We obviously don’t want to encourage defiance (especially for what we are experiencing now), but to think civil disobedience is not an option for Christians may just give away the freedoms we once had. This is tough because while living the Christian life is extremely easy, it is also extremely hard. We try to take away the hard parts by creating formulas and principles, but these lead us away from the easy part, listening to God and doing what He says.
      Blessings,
      Kevin

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