Ministering In The New Normal?

Matthew 21:12-13 (NKJV Strong’s) “Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”

Many houses of worship were affected by the coronavirus. The president declared a national emergency. Then state and local governments in many parts of the country issued stay in place orders.

Shutting down “non essential” businesses. Then a question about local churches, we knew, was sure to come, went out to close local churches during the virus due to the way coronavirus is confirmed to spread from person to person.

A lot of pastors struggled with this order. Many pastors violated the CDC directive during a national emergency. Sadly, in Harlem, NYC, one particular Baptist church has experienced multiple deaths. The pastor, though he wasn’t tested by doctors, experienced the symptoms of coronavirus, but has somewhat recovered.

You could read the story from Christian Post here.

A pastor in Florida was arrested for holding services.

However, a significant point was made.

If governors, mayors, and the president all have been holding press conferences to inform the public of the status of the virus. Some of these politicians are following the CDC guidelines, others are violating the guidelines right in front of the cameras.

Why can’t believers come to the house of worship?

We have yet to see if there’s a person to person transmission resulting from these meetings with political leaders, but to impose restrictions on others while not living by the restrictions yourself as a political leader, is way a very poor example.

In fact, it’s hypocrisy.

At this point, many of us don’t know what to believe.

Yes, even pastors and believers are compounded, bewildered, and confused.

Make no mistake about it. Many people honestly believe that the houses of worship ought to be the safest place because of the presence of the Lord. But when you see thousands of believers and leaders acquire the disease and die, you wonder if the Lord is among us.

When you’re forced to stream your services in an empty 10,000 seat auditorium, is this the new normal for church services?

For me, there is no question about the presence of the Lord among God’s people, even when others attending services get infected and die.

Many will argue, “How can you believe in someone that you can’t see?” An excellent response by seasoned believers is “You believe a virus you can’t see?”

Just because the earth quakes, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t around. Just because things happen to shake us, we serve an unshakable God.

Now the Scripture that I used is an appropriate Scripture. For many of us, our houses of worship, most, not all, have become the place people worship, instead of a house OF worship.

The shrine is worshipped. The pastor is worshipped and God lifted His hand and overthrew it all.

Plus. After 9/11, few new people came into the house of worship to repent. And many walked back out, never to return. I’ll never forget that day.

The following Sunday, no new people came to repent.

I expect the same to happen after the restrictions are lifted.

Why? Because people refuse to put two and two together.

You have no faith?

I have no faith in man, and all my faith is in God.

John 6:44 (NKJV Strong’s) “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

You see, did the Father draw you?

How do you know that the Father is drawing you?

When you hear the Word and you reject His Word. When you walk by and you hear a church service going on, and you keep walking by that church. When you hear a street preacher, and you walk by. When you receive a tract, and you stuff it in your pocket, and you forget all about it.

You see, the Lord is always drawing people, but people refuse to respond. Or they do respond, but they only last a little while and walk back out.

Jesus said in John 4:23-24 (NKJV Strong’s) “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

This hour occurred when the Holy Spirit came upon the earth on the day of Pentecost, and this hour continues. But what we’ve witnessed is that some houses of worship and their pastors have made it a place TO worship the brick and the leaders.

1 Peter 4:17-18 (NKJV Strong’s) “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

There’s a lot of confusion among pastors and leaders attempting to determine what this al means. Is it the judgment of God? Is it an end time sign. Why are people that believe God caught the disease, suffered, and some of them died?

As I’ve said before, this is Matthew 24:7 in operation.

The only person that needs to be accountable for anything is you.

We look at others and say all sorts of things.

Like Job’s friends that didn’t see what happened behind the scenes.

You can only be accountable for you. What are you doing? Are you worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth? We spend so much time judging the fate of others and we ignore how we’re living our lives before the Lord.

It’s very easy to look at the plight of others, but when you look at yourself, do you measure up to the requirements of the Lord?

In this season of Matthew 24:7, it’s time to look at our own lives and not judge the lives of others.

Are we living the way that we’re supposed to be living?

Be accountable for you.

So how will you minister in the new normal?

We do exactly what the Lord commanded us to do. We don’t put the gospel on a new cart. We keep living and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ until the Father says, “Enough.”

Published by The Minister's Crucible

The Minister's Crucible is designed to inform the Body of Christ about the inner workings of the ministry. The word Crucible from Latin, is "crux" where we get the word "cross" from. It also means a "metal container" where metals and other substances are melted or are subjected to higher temperatures, put to the temperature test. The Lord Jesus said "If any man desires to follow after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." Let's take up our cross and follow Him.

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