In this post, Irwyn Ince notes, “Experiencing community means experiencing a sense of belonging, of welcome and embrace, a sense of being at home. It’s the exact opposite of feeling you’d rather be someplace else. Since beautiful community is a matter of the Spirit and can’t be engineered, there’s a cost to becoming the kind of people who welcome and embrace fellow image-bearers across lines of difference.” Are we willing to pay the cost for such beauty?
Often we work hard thinking about how to craft a sermon, but as Bryan Chapell shows, there are definite methods of preaching that must be avoided.
COVID is a legitimate concern, but we must be clear about what is keeping us from church. As noted here, “As it relates to attending Bible study and public worship, even if you aren’t ready yet, you need to decide now what conditions will need to be met before you return to worship. Once you have decided what conditions need to be met, you need to share those conditions with someone. Tell your LifeGroup or your pastor or your accountability partner where your line is. Maybe you have a date in mind, ‘I’ll return in 2021.’ Maybe you are hopeful for a vaccine, ‘When a vaccine is widely available, I will return.’ But, be careful if you do not have a line. If your rationale for staying away from your church family hasn’t been carefully defined, you run the risk of never returning to church. If you do not draw a line in the sand right now and determine when you will return to worship, you may never return. You will find other things to fill your Sunday mornings and commitment to your church will wax and wane.”