One of the great lessons of he pandemic is: Be mindful of the health of the fellowship of believers. As we make our way through the maze of ministry, keep an eye on the foundations.
SCENE ONE: I was talking with a close friend about the music ministry he helped to create. At the time the pandemic was wearing on. They had spent decades building a strong foundation of fellowship of believers that defined the ministry. “Every month this goes on,” he said, “another layer of that foundation erodes.”
SCENE TWO: I was on a regional Zoom call with other pastors. When we got into our virtual breakout rooms I was surprised at the level of vitriol. Granted, the event was 90 minutes of life we would never get back, but there was frustration and anger that people who planned this gathering, intending to be supportive and helpful, seemed totally oblivious to real life issues many pastors are dealing with, especially those with young children at home who need (and deserve) loving care and e-learning supervision along with trying to shepherd a congregation.
Foundations for the Fellowship of Believers
1. Nurturing the Fellowship of Believers
These two instances point to an under-mentioned reality. We’re in trouble. We never imagined (nor could we) what life during a pandemic would actually be like. And while Scripture commands us to be mindful of the health of the fellowship of believers, rarely does that make the top five slots on many to-do lists. In my experience it’s the unusual congregation, the anomalous choir or worship team that spends much time at all nurturing the fellowship of their group with the anticipation that some day that fabric might be severely tested (by, say, isolation for the better part of a year). Even those who have are seeing the foundations they’ve created wash away like many places on the shores of the Great Lakes.