Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
Church. Gather. Differently!
Phil Miglioratti • The ReimagineFORUM
As the nation begins to “reopen,” the right of churches to gather has become highly politicized. For some, the cry for reopening is an act of patriotism based on what they consider their constitutional right. Others claim the precious principle of freedom of religion while some protest in anger. Some congregations have defied the ban to meet together (some also ignoring social distancing) and a few have sued the government for a return to business as usual.
Regardless of your perspective, I ask you to look at the how the church is responding to the reopening issue from the viewpoint of those the Church exists to invite or influence. Whether a congregation gathers in blatant defiance or even quietly resumes their normal schedule, many observers have only reactive/negative images that will invariably lead them to reach wrong conclusions about the heat and soul of the Church.
As I ponder our situation, I find these questions bothersome:
What would happen if, rather than clamoring for our rights, we broke out of our standard operating procedures and designed new ways of proclaiming God and blessing our communities?
What could God do through the Church if we began to view this virus-crisis as an opportunity to reshape cultural stereotypes (judgmental, irrelevant) as we demonstrate the heart of God (love, sacrifice, forgiveness; John 3:16-17)?
What if we express our right to gather in ways unexpected but appreciated, even welcomed.
What if we gathered; not defiantly but joyfully; not in our seats but out in the streets?
What if we promote a gathering to honor and bless and pray for First Responders?
Church, we are right now in a Kairos moment.
Reimagine Church in this unique moment in history to gather - -
in small groups (5-7) outside your building to praise (parade) and pray (circles)
Then, each family or small group walks/drives to a:
Church, you have the right to fight. Fight, differently. Use this unique opportunity to show and tell the Gospel with acts of kindness by serving others in an attitude of love. Reach. Then preach. And teach.
Michael Horton recently noted, “Our churches right now look like Fox and CNN. You can tell when you walk into a Fox church and a CNN church. The ideology, not the gospel, is the priority.”
It’s a worrying and saddening trend, Horton observes, that many churches have become enclosed by contemporary partisan bubbles. Our true calling is to be a community that transcends these divisions: “no longer strangers and aliens . . . but fellow citizens” in Christ (Eph. 2:19).
The thing about bubbles is that you rarely realize you’re living in one. A bubble is translucent, giving you a sense of being in touch with reality when, in truth, your perception is more skewed than you think.
How can we identify if our churches have become bubbles? Here are three signs..Keep reading>>>