by Scott Neubauer
In the past five months COVID-19 has shaken the world as we know it—the church world included. During this time, I’ve thought about how God might be using the time we’re in to shake and reshape his church—perhaps even bringing an end to “four-walled” Christianity. Out of that thought process have emerged my points of prayer for a post-COVID church.
1. Less Entertaining, More Equipping.
The major ministry of “the church” is equipping people to “do ministry.” By ministry, I mean ministry outside of Sunday morning. That means less focus on a spiritual show that wows people and more focus on equipping people to actually reach the world they live in Monday through Saturday.
2. Less Spectators, More Ministers.
One of the biggest lies to permeate the modern church is that there’s a small group of guys and gals who do the “ministry” while everyone else just sits back and enjoys. I pray this mentality is coming to a swift end.
3. Less Sunday, More Monday.
If what happens inside the church walls doesn’t change the lives we live outside the church walls, what’s the point? Your job is your pulpit and your colleagues are your congregation. We must move from simply expressing our faith on Sundays to living out our faith on Mondays.
4. More Creativity, Less Passivity.
We live in a world that calls us to constantly consume content. Too many times this mentality has infiltrated the church and we become “church consumers”: consuming worship, a sermon, etc. I believe God has called us to create as well. He is the Creator, and we are made in his image! Let’s not waste our life only consuming.
5. More Prayer, Less Politics.
In some cases that means more prayer, less posting. Our primary job as believers as it relates to our governing authorities is not complaining: it’s praying. Am I praying for them as much as I’m complaining about them? Let’s be careful we’re about our Father’s business and invest our time and energy into the things dear to his heart rather than simply those of our favorite political party.
6. More Passion, Less Profession.
I pray the days we’re living in restore our passion as Christians. Faith without works is useless, but so is profession of our faith without passion for our faith.
Romans 12:10-11 (NLT) tells us, “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Church within the four walls has led us to become educated beyond our obedience. We know all the right things, but the passion to put them into practice is lacking.
7. More About People, Less About a Place.
In the Old Testament there was a holy place, but now there’s only a holy people—the holy place is wherever God’s people set their feet. COVID-19 has caused multi-million dollar church buildings to sit nearly empty. It’s moved the body of Christ to think outside the box: holding worship services on rooftops, in parking lots, in neighborhoods, and more. I pray this pushes us as the church at large to rightfully return our focus to the people of God rather than simply a place we gather. The questions we must ask ourselves in every season is: “What is God up to? What good thing does he want to accomplish in me?” I pray we don’t miss our chance to reset as a church and as individuals.
Scott Neubauer, is Lead Pastor at Watershed Church in Elgin, Illinois.