Dear Friends in Christ,
Leaves have begun to hit the ground. The long days of summer have faded into shorter, darker days. The cold hasn’t come yet, but the season has changed. This is nothing new, of course-Seasons come and seasons go, and there is nothing we can do to change that.
The season has also changed for the church and our society. The pandemic did not cause this change, but the pandemic has accelerated what was already going on both in the church and in the larger world around us. This change of seasons is multifaceted but put in simple terms, and the overwhelming majority no longer embraces the Christian story and worldview that it used to be. You’ve likely seen the research or commentary in various corners of the internet or heard the reports. This shift can be measured in any number of ways-church attendance and membership, fewer people identifying as religious in general, and a general spiritual malaise setting in even amongst faithful church attenders.
The responses to this change have been all over the map. Many have simply pined for the good old days where it wasn’t like it is now. Others have prayed and hoped for the right things to happen so that people will be waked from spiritual slumber. Finally, some have fallen into a quiet resignation, going to church and trying not to worry too much about how even their family members don’t care about the faith anymore. Perhaps you’ve identified with one or more of these responses- so have I.
There are certainly some things we cannot control. Seasons change, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But there are also things we can control. We may not have the answer for all of the big problems facing the world, but we have been placed in our own homes, neighborhoods, and communities. We as disciples are scattered about each week for discipleship in as many places as possible, and part of that is connecting, caring, and sharing in those places. So often, we as disciples get caught up in the big picture of things we can’t control and forget that we are called to be faithful wherever the Lord has placed us. This is why we are “Re-Connecting, Re-Caring and Re-Sharing”- we have a role and an opportunity to continue the Lord’s work wherever He has placed us.
The mission of God’s church remains the same no matter the circumstances or seasons. That mission is best lived out not by worrying about the big picture at the expense of the person in front of you but rather by re-connecting, re-caring, and re-sharing wherever God has placed you.