In my over twenty years of ministry, I’ve never had to face such a rapidly changing environment. Every single day we are learning new information regarding the COVID-19 virus and our nation’s plans to fight this invisible enemy. We at Northway have been forced to make quick and dramatic changes in order to continue to do ministry in the midst of this crisis. At times, it has been extremely difficult and confusing. Other times, it has been heartbreaking as we have seen ministry events severely altered or canceled completely. Many of us have experienced times of loneliness as we have been physically separated from one another. It has created fear, worry, and extreme uncertainty about the future. There have been moments of great discouragement throughout the last several weeks.
However, simultaneously, it has reminded us of the tenuous nature of this world in which we live. For so many, it has refocused our hearts and minds on the Lord. In this ever-changing environment, it has drawn our eyes to the eternal, unchanging truths of God’s word.
It has placed margin in our lives. For some of us, margin that was sorely needed. It has created space for families to reconnect with one another. It has allowed time for reading and reflection. A pause has been placed on the typical hurried nature of our lives.
This crisis has stretched the creative abilities of our staff team. It has caused us to rethink our strategy for ministry in this city. We have been forced to reach beyond what we have experienced and learned already. There is no ministry playbook for this current situation. Ministry and COVID-19 for Dummies has yet to be penned. We are having to forge ahead into unchartered territories.
As a result, I believe that our ministry will be stronger in the long run. Although I’m disappointed that our faith family will not physically gather together for Easter services, the first Sunday we are together again will be our big Easter celebration. When that day comes, I’m excited about the new faces we will see at Northway. Some of those will be individuals who discovered our ministry through Facebook as our worship services were shared hundreds of times during this crisis. Others may have suddenly realized that a microscopic organism can suddenly destroy a 401(k), put an end to a baseball season, or take a human life, and this epiphany caused them to seek a solid foundation for their lives. Regardless of the reason, I believe that a large number of individuals will be asking questions about God, salvation, and eternal life. Our faith family will have opportunities to provide those answers.
Therefore, in the midst of all that’s happening, I’m encouraged. I’m hopeful. And I’m believing that God is going to do something big in our church, community, and nation through these events.
Please join me in praying that this will be so.