My two year old son calls him “Dark Gator”, but to the rest of us he’s “Darth Vader” – the baddest Sith Lord on the block; unforgiving commander of the Empire; Intergalactic HR officer who does not want to field your puny work complaint, thank you very much.
He’s also the voice in my head as I try to master all the things I should be doing better during our transition to online church: ‘I find your lack of “expertise”, disturbing….’
We are a new church that started weekly Sunday worship, in September, 2019. Now, we are trying to find newer, better online avenues to reach people, and care for those who have joined us. I’m not discouraged, but this is true: Every day I’m learning exactly how much I don’t know about online church.
We’re already way better than we were, and doing online church engagement outside of Sunday morning, has helped us reach more, new people. But I doubt that online expertise is what God primarily wants from us, during this time: “Go into all the avenues of social media, and increase thy platform, even unto the ending of COVID-19” (James’ False Gospel 16:15) When I begin to believe that Gospel, Darth’s voice is not far behind: “You have failed me for the last time, Reverend….”
“What does God want, then, James?” I believe Mark Sayers (and Terry Walling) are right: Everyone’s “platform” has shrunk to the size of a Zoom screen, and now the outside world is waiting to see – not if we have the highest production values, or the “best names in the biz” – but whether we’ve been with Jesus. Do we sound like we’ve taken this time to return to, and strengthen our walk with, Jesus?
God has taken away the “wow” of big church platforms, and is giving us all an opportunity to do something much better: Return to Jesus, and build our lives on his promises, and his presence.
The “wow” that we thought could win people over, is gone for a season. That’s no accident. We have been given an irreplaceable opportunity: To begin to live so that people see – not us – but Jesus.
If you are Parenting in the Pandemic, I hope this helps.
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- “At Home with the Rev”: 10 minutes at 10am on Wednesdays: We are learning about prayer, for the next few weeks: “What is it? How do we do it?”
- Sunday Worship, 10:30am: 30 minutes.