What Form Will the Church Take Now?
Let’s talk about online church. Many, many people and churches had to move to an online format through the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been good and not so good. First of all, we are all very grateful that the technology was available for us to use at this time. Some states and cities are still in government lockdowns and this has really helped the Church to continue to gather together. Additionally, many have sought out worship experiences other than the ones they are used to. I believe the Lord has used that to bring an awakening to some.
Some, however, participate online for other reasons and these aren’t all that good. Some have been participating online for years. They may live in rural locations where they don’t get a lot of meat or where there isn’t any church. The online church is a lifeline to them. However, others have just recently started to participate due to the lockdowns. They have quickly gotten used to attending church in their pajamas and it has become comfortable. It’s convenient to grab your coffee, curl up in a favorite spot in your home, give a little donation online, perhaps, and “go to church”.
But how do you do that and experience community? How do you walk together with other Believers in accountability? How can you release your gifts to the Body of Christ? How do you grow and mature as a part of something the Lord is building? How do you share your faith with the lost in a relational way, then help them grow in Christ? If we continue to just do online church, we will see a fallacy in the movement pretty quickly. What has been a lifeline to us will eventually lead us to stunted growth, limited evangelism and discipleship, and other things. People are going to realize there is a reason Jesus said not to forsake the assembling of the saints together, especially as the days grow closer to the Lord’s coming. We need one another. As we come back together, I think pastors and churches are going to find that some people want more now than they did at the beginning of this season. Things are not going to go back to the way they were done before.
The enemy always tries to limit the Church. He has already tried to limit us by telling us all of our gifts and callings are for inside the walls of a church building. He even told whole denominations that God’s gifts don’t operate at all any more. Currently, I think one of his limiting tactics is to influence government leaders to keep the churches locked down as long as they can. In some states and cities we know they are trying to keep the Church from meeting together using COVID-19 as an excuse. I know that because the Church is being treated differently than businesses of the same size and using similar facilities. There is supernatural power released when the Body of Christ gathers together to worship, pray, declare and decree, take communion together, and display Christ’s love and unity as His Body. The Church is a threat to the enemy and he will always try to stop us from gathering together or expanding the Kingdom of God in the earth. We need to resist that limitation.
“Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25; NLT)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
How has this lockdown affected your relationship with Christ? Are you pressing into Him? Are you feeling a new passion and awakening? Are you a “comfy one”? Have you found yourself complacent or even lukewarm? Maybe you are feeling lonely and longing for the gathering together of the saints again? Talk to Him about wherever you feel you are.
Intercede for the Church to reject all limitations placed on it. Say, “The Body of Christ rejects every limitation satan has tried to bind us with historically and currently. We reject every lie. We will be free to worship the Lord and expand His Kingdom in the earth!”
Say, “We will fight to meet together to encourage one another and to learn of Jesus.”
Declare, “We will operate in the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that many may come to know Him.”
A prayer you can pray:
[Take some time today to reflect on how you are doing spiritually right now. Look at the questions above and invite the Lord to minister to you, if need be.]
God, I pray for the Church. I ask You to touch each individual in a new and fresh way. Meet the deepest needs of hearts and lives. Stir the complacent, increase the fire in the passionate, meet the needs of the lonely, provide grace to the hurting. You are doing a work in the Church in this season that we will look back on as a treasure. You are giving us a gift in a time that the enemy has meant for evil. He should have known that He couldn’t stop the Church. He has never been able to. The Church always multiplies under duress! It always becomes more powerful and more on fire. Your Kingdom advances more quickly when times are hard.
So, Lord, we say, “The Body of Christ rejects every limitation satan has tried to bind us with historically and currently. We reject every lie. We will be free to worship the Lord and expand His Kingdom in the earth!” Grant us a grace and boldness to fight to meet together, so we can encourage one another and learn of Jesus together. We say we will not allow anything to hinder us from operating in the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that many may come to know You. We proclaim these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The Church will find a way to gather together and expand His Kingdom!