Tag Archives: faithfulness

Church after Covid: many will not return

By the time your church re-opens following the Covid crisis, as many as one in five members won’t return, according to one analyst.

Church dynamics expert Thom Rainer told Baptist Press that the recent global pandemic is revealing the true colors of church members.

That means a church of 200 will be a church of 160 after restrictions lift.

Many churches went online when health officials banned large gatherings as hot points for contagion. They resorted to Zoom Bible studies and live-streaming their worship services on YouTube, Instagram, FaceBook and the like.

While online has the advantage of convenience (no drive to church, and if you want you can wear your jammies), it lacks the human touch of a handshake, hug or affirmation that is also an important part of the service.

While introverts probably liked avoiding the social demands, there are others who may also find it easier to drop out.

Rainer describes several categories of believers who will probably not return to church:

The declining-attendance Christian: If their faithfulness to regular services was already waning, Covid only hastened their demise. Now completely overtaken by inertia, they won’t likely return Sunday mornings unless some drastic jumpstart revives them.

The loosely-connected member: The person who didn’t want to get involved in a small group and develop lasting bonds of friendship and was only a Sunday apparition is likely to continue their stay-at-home habits.

Conversely, the person who has strong friendships developed in community will want to be with his or her friends and will show up as soon as the doors open.

The just-another-activity Christian: The soccer mom whose calendar is chock full of commitments might find the relief from Sunday morning obligations a welcome change.

The critical attendee: The person who was constantly carping, finding fault, and complaining will probably not be returning to services. Read the rest: Church after Covid.

The best surprise

God's surpriseTo the “Christian” of blunted intelligence, faithfulness is boring.

It is, however, the key to breakthrough. The best surprises are the ones God gives. You’re going along, attending church faithfully, tithing faithfully, struggling but trying to stay consistent. At some times, it seems even mechanical, dead. You don’t feel it anymore.

The temptation is to give up. It seems that all is for naught. You think you’re just wasting your time. Then, boom!, God drops a huge blessing into your life, and the romance with God is fresh again!

One of the most overlooked characteristics of God is His love for surprise. I’ve never seen it an a theology book, but it’s in Genesis 2:9. He warned Adam and Eve against the tree of sin. But He said nothing about the tree of life, which also was in the Garden of Eden. It was going to be a surprise. Regrettably, our father and our mother never discovered this pleasant surprise because they wanted more by their own devices. They ate the forbidden fruit, believing it contained blessing. They wanted more; they got less.

Hang in there for God’s surprises.

Disappointment appointment

DownloadedFileThe same multitude that hailed King Jesus on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem — in a matter of days, shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” And that scares me. I see myself in that crowd.

You see, it’s not all their fault. They were let down. They were disappointed. Here they went through all this effort, waving palm branches, throwing their garments on the ground, shouting “Hail the king!” — and that was dangerous! (Because it made them known enemies to the Roman authorities.)

60456_10151492002954939_384388666_nThey fully expected Jesus to throw off the hated gentile empire and inaugurate a new age of David’s throne. No doubt hundreds of people were waiting His bidding. So what did Jesus do?

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. — Mark 11:11 NIV.

from AMyUnjaded

from AMyUnjaded

Are you serious? Is that it? Here, we go out on a limb to make you king, and all you do is “look around” and go back to hanging out? Talk about disappointment. They were probably not only disappointed but also embarrassed and furious.

Well, the disciples had the same expectations and the same disappointments. They didn’t turn on Jesus (except Judas). They remained faithful until they saw the resurrection.

When you go through disappointments, you can’t give up. You can’t turn against God. You have to remain faithful, even when you don’t know what’s going on.

‘Just dead’ was not dead enough

from Steamboat Friday

from Steamboat Friday

article-2235108-161c22f1000005dc-310_634x483Nebuchadnezzar wanted them really dead. So he heated up the executioner’s furnace seven times the normal heat. Even the guards who threw in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego died. Talk about… mmm, overkill.

8a858b05-f972-4913-81d6-6fcfc6323e6eEven so, those three Jews, guilty of not bowing to the king’s idol, didn’t flinch. With great impending disaster bearing down upon them, they stayed faithful. They would only pray and believe in God. They wouldn’t do lip service to appease the wrathful king.

Ben Rogers 2In the end, constancy won. King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” — Dan. 3:24-25 NIV.

from British Columbia ROCKS

from British Columbia ROCKS

After that, the three Jews walked free. Good ole Neb learned not to mess with the One True God. And a decree was issued giving testimony throughout his empire. It pays to remain steadfast, to remain unbowed before the world’s idols despite intense pressure.