As the church works to understand and engage the gravity of the suffering and loss around the globe, I’d argue that we are best served by seeing this season as a catalyst.
The church is closed.
The words I never thought I’d have to say outside of an act of God. Well, we’re in the middle of one and I’ve had to tell my people that the way we’ve been doing church for the past 15 years has to change.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to a lot of confusion, concern, and even anger. What do you mean church is closed? Don’t you have faith?! Yes. But the church is greater than filling our buildings, and as many have said, the greatest way we can serve out neighbor is to close.
In the intervening days I’ve seen a lot of language around the church in crisis. How is the church going to endure through this crisis? How will this crisis change the church?
Instead, at Salem Chapel, we’ve been trying to change the way we look at this season. As the church works to understand and engage the gravity of the suffering and loss around the globe, I’d argue that we are best served by seeing this season as a catalyst. By catalyst, I simply mean change; the process by which some event substantively and irrevocably changes reality.
This experience has and is going to change us. We are going to be different on the other side, and so the church needs to think critically about how to respond proactively and productively. We need to keep our eyes fixed on the gospel mission, even as the world around us turns inward and self-protection.
In this spirit, I want to offer three catalyst question we are asking at Salem Chapel and how we have answered those questions in this new environment. This is not comprehensive by any stretch. Many people in our churches are taking the lead in projects I will only hear about afterward but are having significant kingdom impact today. But …