Yesterday, I gathered with a group of pastors. All were working through the challenge of what to do in the face of this virus. Based on very limited and, quite frankly, disappointing information, recommendations and decisions must be made. These decisions must balance the spiritual health of the church with the physical health of the church. Love considers both.
Prayer, more prayer, and then more prayer goes into every decision. Knee time replaces me time. Listening carefully to the Holy Spirit and discerning the Will of God takes silence and concentration. Every pastor in that group is concentrating on the Will of God, while hearing the direction of the civil authorities.
Make no mistake, the Bible is clear. We are subject to government authority. Romans 13:1-2 makes this very clear. Unless being forced to worship another god or reject God’s teachings, we are to be in obedience.
Likewise, we must remember that the church is not the building or the gathering on Sunday morning. The church is the people. Church happens wherever two or more are gathered in God’s name. Church can happen as easy in a cornfield as it can in the sanctuary.
Yesterday, I had several people suggest that pastors must “love the days off” from the church. I was disappointed. The pastor is working to talk with the scared, minister to the sick, contact the lonely, answer the questions of the seeking, and leading in decisions for the church the likes of which I have never imagined. Never could I have predicted emergency orders, executive orders, food shortages, and questions around worship gatherings.
Pray for your pastor. Pray that he have no pride, but be humble before God and seek His face in every decision. Pray for the leadership of the church to seek God’s wisdom in every decision. Pray for each member of the church to lay aside opinion and seek God’s answer in His word. None of the answers are easy.
Be blessed. Be safe. Be prayerful. Be thoughtful. Be selfless. Be kind. Be alert to the needs of others. No, the pastor isn’t just taking a day off. He is wrestling with very hard decisions. Pray that the Lord of all will speak to the pastor He chose to lead.