May 26, 2021
One year ago, we re-opened the building for church and have been pivoting more and more back to how our gathering and ministry life should be. We believe that a local church is described by Jesus and the apostles as an assembly or gathering. So, while it was popular for people to refer to church being “on-line” there really is no such thing. Church is not virtual. Church means, gathering in person, with one another, in the same place, at the same time. Granted, a pandemic has a way of disrupting what is normal, but we never wanted the disruption to become the norm. At the same time, we wanted to maintain a lifeline of sorts through this season. Therefore, we enhanced our livestreaming in order to help those who were staying home. But, that time is coming to an end and I want you to be ready for that.
Here is a small, but good example of what I mean. When we put the lyrics of the songs we sing on the screens, we used to put up about 4 lines of text. However, if we showed 4 lines of text on the livestream, it would cover everything else up if the font was going to be large enough to be read. So, we went to 2 lines of text on the screens, which can not only make it challenging for the tech crew, but it is better to see 4 lines as a congregation in order to see where the text is going or has come from. 4 lines enables the congregation to sing with greater understanding. So, in the near future, we are going back to 4 lines which won’t be so readable for the livestream, but will be better for the gathered congregation.
Another example has to do with our member’s meetings. We will no longer be livestreaming them for several reasons. 1) Every member needs to attend. This is part of our life together and we need to do this together. 2) There are matters of important information that we need to be able to share with the members, but not with the world. 3) Interacting with questions and answers is way better in person and we want to do things “way better.” In addition, we will also be phasing out our outdoor streaming and streaming in the gym.
For those who are sick, or shut-in, we will continue to offer the service as a livestream, but it will likely go back to looking more like it did before the pandemic. It will not look quite as polished, but remember, our audience is not the livestream world, but our church. We are a church in so far as we gather together, preach the gospel, observe the ordinances and exercise oversight for one another.
I want to thank those who have worked so hard to help provide these opportunities through this season. Josh Scott and the tech crew (sound, lights, cameras, slides, directing), outside crew, and gym set-up crew have all been very helpful.
I also want to say to those who have not ventured out yet, it is time. We are not the church like we need to be the church without you. And you are not what you need to be without us. The Lord has seen us through a difficult season. We know this is for a purpose, and we have the opportunity to fulfill that purpose. We were reminded of this in a pointed and related way this past weekend by the presentation of Bridge of Blood. The presentation was very well done, thank-you. But, being well-done was not the goal. The message is. Life is short. Eternity is long. Live for what matters.
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s text: 2 Peter 2:1-3