Notes from FIEC Leadership in Lockdown webinar on ‘Lessons I wish I’d learned before the COVID crisis’ with John Stevens, Andy Weatherley and Peter Baker.
1. God’s people are journeying to the Promised Land and God will bring us safely through that journey. We need to put our hope in the Lord. But there are things that prevent us from doing that. One is pride which is the great barrier to trusting in the Lord. Another is concerning ourselves with things beyond our comprehension or engaging in useless speculation about things that the Bible has not revealed. Instead we are to quiet ourselves and be content because the result of this will be putting our hope in the Lord now and forevermore.
2. Guidance Update
– No further word from Government on singing, social distancing, or face masks.
– Road map is on track.
– FIEC has written to Prime Minister and Scottish government to urge against Vaccine Passports for churches.
3. Coming out of lockdown there are some things to be aware of. The church that entered the COVID crisis isn’t the same church that is coming out of it. We shouldn’t expect everything to restart straightaway as to go from zero to full will likely lead to burnout. There will be a wide range of emotions in the church – some people loved church from sofa, others not, people grieving etc.
4. We are walking out of lockdown and doing that together.
5. It is really encouraging to hear of a church which is using Zoom to have a daily prayer gathering for 30 minutes each day.
6. We haven’t truly learned a lesson unless it has changed us.
7. Kick the leaves more often. Learn to live in the moment and take in the day. Silence has a beautiful sound. All of life is a theatre for worshipping God. There is no sacred secular divide.
8. Rejoice in windows that open when doors close. We lament what has not be possible, but rejoice in what new opportunities have opened up, especially in the digital world.
9. The Holy Spirit is not phased by ZOOM.
10. Trust the Lord of the harvest. An ongoing challenge is that it is hard to know what is going on beneath the surface and behind the screens. It is helpful to read Jesus’ parables of the kingdom. Have confidence in the power of God’s Word to produce in people’s lives a harvest.
11. Keep surrendering control to God. Certain powerlessness about the situation. We are not in control, God is.
12. Build resilient disciples not flakey consumers. Disciples who can survive in a pandemic. How many of us are dependent on our buildings and infrastructure?
13. Reflect on what we’ve learned, how we’ve grown, and what we’ve gained.