Sometime last week I decided that watching the daily press conferences was too stressful for me. I am a numbers person, I am a science person, but I am also a person of hope. The press conferences seemed to share trends that made me anxious, and that was not how I wanted to feel. I stopped watching until I heard, after the fact, that the President hoped we could restart the economy and have packed churches for Easter. The medical community quickly opposed this idea, but I thought it was interesting to think this mass quarantine, shut down closure, could come to an abrupt end in the next two weeks, by April 12, 2020. I do believe God can stop the spread of the virus, but I don’t think God operates on our timeline. I don’t think God will stop this virus simply because we are sore about the economy. The comment about packed churches on Easter, though, really made me think.
Annually, churches report their greatest attendance on Easter Sunday with Christmas a close second, but Christmas is not always on a Sunday. Many churches must put out extra seats for the Easter Sunday crowd. There are people who only attend church on Easter Sunday. Google reports an uptick in searches for “church” or “nearby church” as Easter approaches each year. Why is this? According to the Pew Research Center, “Among those who attend no more than a few times a year, about three-in-ten say they do not go to religious services for a simple reason: They are not believers.” This response makes me wonder, well, why go on Easter? Could it be that largely they do not believe the Gospel message, but there is a small part of them that believes the Gospel could, maybe, potentially be true so they go on Easter Sunday to hear about it again, in a different presentation, to help them decide if it is worth believing - maybe.
I don’t believe we will have packed churches for Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, as many call it on April 12, 2020. It will be quite a different experience this year to have virtual church services on the day that we celebrate the foundation of our faith. We must remember that the church is not a building. The Church is the people who believe. Although we will be socially-distanced on Resurrection Sunday 2020, we will be spread among the non-believers who only attend church once or twice a year - those who want to believe but aren’t sure. So, Church, the pressure is on you to share the Gospel message this year. And you can share the gospel from a 6-foot distance, so no excuses!
You have neighbors who don’t believe, and you will see them between now and April 12. Right now there is great anxiety and uncertainty, and people want something good to believe. People want to believe there is a good God who can bring this virus situation to a close. It’s on you and me this year to BE THE CHURCH. If that means sitting on your porch waiting for a non-believing neighbor to come strolling by because they needed some fresh air, or if it means clipping some flowers out of your yard to give to a neighbor with a Scripture attached, it is on you and me to prepare the Gospel message for 2020. ✝ Please see below for some helpful tips.
How do you share the Gospel? The items below may become talking points as you share the Gospel. This week's YouTube video show's an example of how the conversation could happen.
What if they say, “nah, I’m good.”
What if they say - Why would a good God not stop this virus?
Comment below any other questions you think you may be asked.
We can all try to suggest responses.
Have a great week!
Stay safe, sanitized, and stay at home!