As our society slowly but surely moves to re-open schools, restaurants, sporting events and other forms of communal life, I have a fear and a hope.
- My fear?
That people will not miss gathering together as a church family.
- My hope?
That people will see more clearly their need for true Christian community.
In all honesty, both my hope and my fear will probably be realized. Some people will walk away from church community opting for a form of church that is more like Netflix than the New Testament … or abandoning church all together. Others will awaken to their need for spiritual brothers and sisters that live—in part—to be there for “one another” … after all, there are 59 “one another” instructions in Scripture.
Undoubtedly, God has used this pandemic to cause us to re-think what it means to be the church. Yet God still expects us to “love another as [He] has loved us” (John 15:12). He still cautions us against “staying away from our worship meetings” (Hebrews 10:25a). He still asks us to “carry one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
God did not send us a text message; He sent His Son. His Son, Jesus, came as a physical person and died to create a people called “the church” (Acts 20:28). The circumstances in which we find ourselves have not changed God’s purposes for His people in His church. COVID-19 has not changed the fact that we were created for community and quite frankly, we need one another—often more than we may realize. Jesus’ people are supposed to “one another” one another in a way that makes our burdens lighter, brings more blessings into our lives, accelerates our walk with God, and demonstrates the amazing love of God (John 13:35).
So here is the question we need to be asking: How?
- Moving forward, how will I love others as I have been loved by Christ?
- How will I worship?
- How will I be a burden bearer?
- How will I pray for my spiritual brothers and sisters?
- How will I practice the “59”?
I know for many of us this is a challenging question but one we must ask for the sake of our spiritual health, the vitality of our own local churches, and the witness of King Jesus to the world. So let’s apply the “How Question” to Rock Bridge, how we will “one another” one another moving forward?
- By being incarnational. Part of the Good News is that Jesus came as a human being and dwelt among us, lived as one of us, and died for all of us (John 1:14). Therefore, we will always have expressions of church that include being among each other, being in our communities, and being in places of need.
- By not limiting our forms and expressions of church. The fact of that matter is that some people can not and should not be in large gatherings of people, but they can still be part of our Rock Bridge “one another” and they can still help “one another” one another!
- Rock Bridge Online is here to stay as a great way to worship and hear God’s Word.
- Rock Bridge At Home: maybe some people do not want to be in larger gatherings but are more comfortable in groups of 8 or 12 or 15. We will share a new resource this weekend to help you be “Rock Bridge” at home with friends, relatives and/or your neighbors. Imagine having Rock Bridge in your driveway, garage, living room, back yard or wherever YOU are!
- Rock Bridge Services: this coming weekend ALL six of our campuses will be meeting WITH RB Kids ministry re-opening and the re-start of the Link for our 6th-12th grade students.
- By finding more ways to gather in “circles” with one another. Corporate worship that includes preaching, singing, Communion and baptism are vitally important to our spiritual health and to realizing more of God’s greatness. However, many of the 59 one another’s simply cannot be followed unless we are together in smaller groups. We are excited to launch a whole plethora of group expressions. These include:
- Traditional small groups that meet in homes, in public parks, or online.
- “D Groups” that are for 3-4 people to meet to discuss God’s Word, encourage one another, and hold each other accountable (like a good workout partner) for growing in our relationship with Jesus.
- Focused groups over Zoom that cover a variety of topics from marriage to race issues to finances to studying a book of the Bible.
- By being available to one another. No matter what, we want to be present and incarnational to each other, doing “good” to all people but “especially those who belong to the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).
- Send me an email if you need a visit from a pastor, elder or prayer team.
- If you need help with a bill or food, please click this link.
United. Connected. Together.We move forward with one another!