I just had the privilege a couple of days ago on the first Sunday of the year to preach my first live sermon since mid-March of 2020. Actually, yesterday I did two prerecorded messages at two different churches. I spoke live at Fort St. John, British Columbia which is a church we did a transitional pastorate in several years ago and where we are currently living right now. The title of the message was “A Swing Thought or 2021.”
Last time I talked to you a little bit about this whole idea of ministry amnesty. The idea that we had this window where there was a lot of stress and a lot of change, but we had some freedom to focus in on new techniques and tactics and tools and software and things. But now it’s really time to get back to business.
The business, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, whether you’re a pastor or a Christian leader, but really any follower, is to be a disciple who makes disciples. So here’s the question: what does a follower of Jesus Christ look like in character?
It is time to get back to business. We figured out how to do ministry online and offline and with various restrictions. We figured out new systems and new tactics, and we’re looking at new software, new hardware, cameras and all kinds of things. But I need to tell you that the amnesty period is pretty much over.
We’ve had this window of time to figure it all out. It is now time to get back to business and revisit our reason for existence. Revisit our purpose and move beyond maintenance mode and move beyond learning new software, new toys, and those kinds of things.
I came across a quote by a long-time pastor that was in a newspaper and it said this: “In the first five years of ministry I had a sign on my desk that read Win the world for Christ. My second five years of ministry I put up a new sign that said Win one or two for Christ. And then now, later in my ministry I have a sign on my desk that says Try not to lose too many.”
I thought that was kind of funny, but I think a lot of people are facing that reality right now. On the church level, I’ve seen the church go from the Church Growth movement of the ‘90s into Church Health, which I think was actually a step in the right direction. But in a lot of ways, we find ourselves today in Church Survival mode.
If there’s one word that I find more irritating than covid right now, it’s the word pivot. Everybody’s pivoting. They’re pivoting from offline to online and physical to virtual, and all other kinds of pivots. It’s all the same thing, really.
Before this whole crisis where pivot became the most popular word next to covid, I always just thought of pivot as a basketball move, but now it’s something that businesses and churches and people or are all doing.