By Dr. James Emery White, Crosswalk.com
This blog is not for just anyone. It’s for people who are committed Christ followers who have a church home. It’s not for church hoppers or shoppers. It’s for those who know where their faith community is. They’ve poured into it, and it has poured into them. It’s a beautiful and deeply spiritual relationship. It’s also the biblical model. You simply will not find a reference to an unchurched Christian in the New Testament. Period.
So what does your church need most right now, in the midst of this pandemic? Here’s a quick top five:
- Your prayers. Here’s a simple, but important, thought: If you don’t pray for your church, who do you think will?
- Your financial faithfulness. The needs of the church and its ongoing mission haven’t changed. Your church is still supporting a selfless, hard-working staff; still giving generously to mission partners; still serving the homeless and the poor, the orphan and the widow; still investing in services and ministries, programs and outreach. The financial needs may have even risen due to the technology, equipment and expertise needed to move online. The pandemic, combined with an economic recession, has hit many churches hard. Your church needs you to be financially faithful.
- Your engagement. Yes, we’re all experiencing video fatigue. But no, it shouldn’t be applied to the online offerings of your church.
- Your witness. If you have stopped “inviting” your friends to attend church simply because there is no longer a physical service to attend, you are missing out on one of the greatest outreach opportunities in our lifetime. Now is the best, greatest, easiest time to invite people to come and see, come and hear, come and explore in the most non-threatening way imaginable—online.
- Your service. If you’re like most people, the serving role you filled no longer exists (or is on hiatus for the foreseeable future). You served with children’s ministry or guest services or helped park cars. But that doesn’t mean your church doesn’t desperately need your gifts and serving heart! It’s simply a new game with new roles and needs. Can you hold a camera? Are you willing to learn how to edit film? Would you be willing to serve the homeless population? Can you help collect hygiene products for children in need? Find out where the serving needs are and be the solution.
Of course, this isn’t just about what your church needs now, but what you need now. Let’s walk back through the five areas again:
- You need to be praying, and not just for your church. You need to engage in regular prayer that expresses your love for God, your gratitude, the confession of sin and asking for forgiveness, and laying out the needs of your life before Him for His power, protection, intervention and supply.
- You need God’s financial blessing. The Bible couldn’t be clearer: if you honor God, He will honor you.
- You need spiritual community in whatever form you can find it and the sustenance that comes from teaching and worship. We are not simply called to be public worshipers, but also private worshipers.
- You need to show you are not ashamed of the message of Christ and share your faith.
- You need to exercise and enlarge your faith through service.
So meet the needs of your church. And in so doing,
… meet your own.
James Emery White
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His newest book, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.