A crisis will change us
Going through a crisis will change us. Such is the nature of pressure, pain, or struggle. It’s partly because during a crisis we are forced out of our always-been-this-way and this-is-what-I-like comforts. It’s also partly because trouble places us at the mercy of the unknown. Not all these forced changes are positive but neither are they all negative, even though they often all feel negative at the initial onset.
Using this crisis to confront some basic paradigms
Over the last few years, when faced with difficult things, our church has picked up the terminology (often when praying and caring for each other) “Don’t let this suffering go wasted in my life.” As we feel like we’re dangling out over the unknown right now, I think it’s an appropriate admonition and prayer for our churches. Especially in the Western world, as we are being uprooted from ecclesiastical comforts (some we have held at the idol level of our ecclesiology).
It will take aligning our hearts and minds to the purposes of God as we take a good hard look at what’s most important in the function of our churches. If we fail to do this we will quickly slip into old paradigms and have very little fruit to show for this time of suffering. In essence we could ignore and fail to submit to the refining that God is doing in His Church through crisis.
4 Steps to take, for the sake of the Church, so not to waste this suffering
Confronting paradigms is impossible if we are not willing, or able to:
- STOP at various points in a crisis. Be O.K. with uncertainty and admit there are many things we can’t solve or control (nor do we need to!). This is a great stage to pray for God to give us peace and to confess anxiety driven by our lack of control.
- EVALUATE with other leaders, what matters most right now (honestly!). This is a great stage to pray that God would deepen our understanding of His Sovereignty as we seek to be open handed with many things we often attached sacred importance to that are not truly sacred.
- ENGAGE with those within your circle of leaders and then in broader circles (Proverbs 15:22!). This is a great stage to pray for God to wash over us a true Spirit-infused humility as we hope to listen to the wisdom of others instead of give correct answers and methodologies.
- ACT in keeping with what is most important for the lives that God has given us to care for (according to scripture!).
This may prove to be the most difficult and most important step. However, in the midst of a crisis, we have been given a unique window to make clear and concise adjustments to what is most important and to confront what has become misaligned with scriptural ecclesiology. As we move to teach first and implement in degrees second, the actions God is leading us to take – pray that our heart and our peoples hearts will be made soft to a renewed work of Christ in the midst of refining.
For the sake of the Church,
don’t let this crisis go to waste
PART 2 OF THIS ARTICLE WILL BE PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY MORNING – 6 Basic Paradigms We Should Confront at this time.
Thanks for reading,