by: Gary Holbrook
Church buildings have been closed lately, but If we are honest church schedules have been constricting to the point churches have been closed to many in our communities for quite awhile. We have a couple hours of activity on Sunday mornings, and maybe a another time of prayer meeting or Bible study during the week. That is what works for our schedules and I guess should be fine for others.
While driving to church on Sundays I see grocery stores, coffee shops, gas stations, all open for business. Then as I stand behind the pulpit preaching, I see mail trucks going through the neighborhood delivering packages. The people who are working are not able to attend church on Sundays, and we have really not made much of an effort to accommodate them.
Recently, we have been trying to figure out various ways to stay in touch with those who attend church. In this way we have actually opened up the church to more people. In trying to connect with them, provide what they need, when they need it, has actually forced us to open up so to speak. It seems we see people available at a certain time, a zoom meeting is put there to meet a need. We have not been trying to make them fit our schedule we are now working with them to simply meet their needs whenever possible.
Now that the church building is opening up, the real struggle will be for the church not to close up. Not to go back to the normal church mindset that says, you should make your schedule fit the church's limited schedule. We have an opportunity to completely revamp our thinking and our methods. In a sense we could say we have a clean slate. All churches have traditions which will have to change for social distancing and the new norm, it must start with that schedule that seems to have been etched in stone.