Home Voices Pandemic, Migration, and Mission: Hope Moving Forward

Pandemic, Migration, and Mission: Hope Moving Forward

Hope Moving Forward

I am not discouraged because the mission God has called us to is bigger than the moment we are in today, and because times of crisis can bring the church to renewed dependence on the Lord. We have seen some promising things arise in this time. Many churches advanced by many years in a matter of months in their capacity for using technology to minister. Yes, some have not come back to in-person services because they have settled into an online church, but the use of technology and other creative approaches such as outdoor or drive-in services have increased the capacity for innovation in many churches. 

A Lifeway researcher polled churchgoers in early 2021, found more encouraging news.6 Some 54 percent of churchgoers reported growing closer to God during the pandemic. We have seen a spiritual hunger among many, often among people who have never considered spiritual things, but the pandemic has caused them to wonder about deeper life issues. 

However, we don’t know what the future holds. Of course, we know that in the end, Jesus wins. But during the turbulence and the tumult—the reality in which we walk—it can be difficult to remember that God has a people and His Spirit is still at work in us. My prayer is that in North America and around the world, people will see the truth and say yes to Jesus. “Here I am, Lord, send me!” By the power and work of the Holy Spirit who brings new life to the lifeless and barren, we will be God’s people on mission in, through, and beyond the pandemic. 

1 See LIFE 1968: The Year That Changed the World (Life Magazine, January 19, 2018).
2 https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/protests-at-democratic-national-convention-in-chicago
3 https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-12-31/1968-the-year-that-changed-america-forever
4 https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1968-pandemic.html
5 See the stories of the Jesus People Movement in an oral history at https://jesuspeoplemovement.com/
6 https://outreachmagazine.com/resources/research-and-trends/67779-encouraging-signs-for-the-post-pandemic-church.html