Episode 128: The 5-Month Mark Part 1: Encouragement We All Need In This Moment
In this episode, we head to Instagram Live and check-in with pastors and leaders from around the country on how they’re thriving amid the gathering restrictions of Covid-19 and the local church. Rick Long (Grace Church Arvada) reminds us not to lose focus, especially with such a great opportunity this season is affording us.
- I believe that God has multiplied our vision... Church is not television, church is community. - Pastor Rick Long Click To Tweet
- Stop looking at everything politically... and look at the potential harvest, look at the souls and the transformation... that’s where our eyes have to be. - Pastor Rick Long Click To Tweet
About Episode 128:
As a church community, we’ve been through quite the rollercoaster this past year! We’ve closed campus, moved online, or set up outdoor services, and tried every trick in the book to bring the Gospel message to our communities safely. Can you believe it’s been five months since we’ve gathered together, worry-free? One way to look at it is to know that we, as a church community, are not going through these uncertain times alone. In today’s podcast, we’re chatting with Rick Long, lead pastor of Grace Church Arvada, to learn more about what’s going on from a leadership perspective.
Like many other churches, Grace Church streamed their services online to keep delivering the Message to the people. For most viewers at home, this wasn’t a difficult transition. But, there were some challenges to ensure everyone was able to find and access the services online. Despite these challenges, Grace Church not only saw an increase in viewership but also in generosity.
What does this mean for the church? How do we turn viewers into disciples? Pastor Rick reminds us, “Stop looking at everything politically…and look at the potential harvest, look at the souls and the transformation… that’s where our eyes have to be.” What an eye-opener! The reality we’re facing today isn’t as scary as it might seem. While it may feel like we’re physically and politically divided nowadays, we’re seeing more people turn to God.
As members of the Kingdom of God, we have to remember that our goal is to create disciples. When churches close their doors due to circumstances beyond our control, we don’t abandon the mission and give up. Instead, we change direction. Think of the online church experience as another net cast into the ocean. We could keep waiting until things return to normal, but really, we’d be waiting a lot longer than we’d hope. When He was spreading God’s word as He walked the earth, He didn’t allow the changing cultural narratives to distract Him. Instead, He remained focused on the mission and took advantage of every opportunity He encountered.
Think about it – for all of us who asked God to move in our lives, to change our circumstances, and allow us to focus on Him entirely, isn’t this a prayer answered? Through this pandemic, God gives us space, time, and depth to seek Him and witness how He moves in our lives. Once we can look beyond ourselves, we can see that people are broken and in need of community. Spending time in the church can be the most unifying hour of the week for us. Everyone who comes to church gathers together regardless of who they are, in the name of Jesus.
When looking for encouragement, Pastor Rick asks these simple questions: Are we ever going to see again what we once saw? Are we going to gather again what we once had? While we are going through tough times, we know that tough times bring us closer to God. Ultimately, we must remind ourselves that we know the ending. Jesus wins. And when Jesus wins, we know that we can’t lose, and for that, we remain optimistic.
Have more questions? Want to keep the chat going? Send Pastor Rick Long an email at firstname.lastname@example.org