Have you considered church with no pants?
There's a lot of news out there--and a lot of things going on that may scare you, or may make you question humanity (like why is there no toilet paper?). So in light of that, I just wanted to give you a brief update on how we're handling things at New Anthem.
First of all, our church is not a service. We have a service--but it's only a small part of what we do. And as I was reading, and praying, and fasting about how we can continue connecting people to God's purpose (because we believe all people matter to God, and to our church) these words from Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 struck me:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers.
There's a lot in there, but pay careful attention to verses 9-11. Paul, who went through a lot of hardship in his life, came to the point where he despaired of life itself. In other words, death looked more appealing to him than going through what he was facing. And yet, he focused on one thing: God HAD delivered him, He WILL deliver him again, and He will CONTINUE to deliver him as people pray. He says, this taught us to rely on God.
I hope you're relying on God right now. We have what this whole world is looking for. A cure for the most dangerous virus the world has ever known. It's the virus of sin. And through Jesus, his death, burial, and resurrection, we have been set free from all its side effects.
Which, here's my point, other people need this hope of deliverance. And for thousands of years this message has endured. Nothing has slowed it down. Remember, God gives us comfort so that we can comfort others. Please don't let this message stop with you.
So what do? That's the question.
Well, letter A, We pray. Paul told us that. He says, we help each other with our prayers. So don't hesitate in doing that. I'd much rather you pray 10 times a day for 1 minute, than 1 time for 10 minutes--but number 2: have you considered church with no pants? I'm being a bit facetious, but I can tell you we won't be together, at all, for the next 15 days. The county, state, and nation have all requested no meetings over 50 people, and we are obviously going to honor that. However, we will be posting our services online (you won't even have to get out of bed, or dressed, to participate). You can follow this link to our website, or, for an interactive experience, go to newanthem.online.church.
Now, I know this quarantine sounds awful to many of you, while to others of you it sounds amazing; because you won't have to see anybody, ever. Please don't let that happen. Reach out to your friends, neighbors, family. Pray for others. Call or write notes to people to encourage them. I don't like the phrase social distancing--you should physically distance yourself, but please do not socially isolate! Scripture tells us it is not good that man should be alone.
Tertiarily (is that a word?) as quarantines and social gathering restrictions are lifted we will re-assess our situation. One of the things we're considering--particularly if we're limited to 50 or less people--is hosting "home church" locations. In short we will gather as small groups in homes and stream the services online--in this scenario, you MUST wear pants.
In addtion to that, if you're still interested in giving, you can do it a variety of ways:
- Online via the website, just click on give in the top right corner, or click on the online giving icon in the middle of the page.
- You can text any amount to 84321
- You can mail a check to the office. 425 E 61st St N, STE 3; Park City, KS 67219
The reason I bring that up is because if people have needs, we want to try and meet them.
So here's what I know. I know we're better together. I know you all matter to God. And I know all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Furthermore, I know that we should look different than the world. Lets point people's fears to Faith. We can do this!
Love you all!