Dear Cobham Park Church Family,
Last Sunday morning, I walked into our empty sanctuary and felt the painful loss of being separated from you. The cancelation of bible studies, prayer meetings, worship services, and most visitation has been disorienting. How are we supposed to “do church” without these things? As I’ve been forced to rethink ministry, it’s becoming obvious that the way forward isn’t new.
On that day, however, I decided not to play it safe. In my heart, I was convinced that the Lord had a specific vision for this church and I needed to start there. I therefore dived into the experience of the first church in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit arrived to powerfully work through each of those early Christians. We saw that God would not be held back by human expectations, imperfect leaders, or the walls of a building. It was true then, and it’s true now. The points of my first Cobham Park sermon are surprisingly appropriate now:
Will we look for “church success,” or look for God? All the outward trappings of church success are gone this week. Would you like to know our attendance numbers? Offerings? Upcoming events? The answer is the same for each of those questions: zero. The Coronavirus has reminded us to look beyond these measures—not to what we’ve accomplished, but what God can and will do through each of us. Rather than languish in our limitations, let’s see what God can do!
Will we leave ministry to the professionals, or is every member a minister? I can no longer preach and teach you face to face. Hospital and home visits are severely limited as we all practice “social distancing.” If the church’s work were left to me, we’d be dead in the water. But God’s Spirit works powerfully through every believer. Our church ministry is exponentially far-reaching, as hundreds of you pray for others, show Christ’s love, and follow God’s leading as only you can. God cannot be quarantined. Each of you is uniquely placed by God to reach certain people that I can’t. You are the ministers of Cobham Park Baptist Church!
Will we focus on the church property, or sharing Jesus outside these walls? Our church facilities are largely unused now. The parking lot is empty. But as I said on Facebook today, buildings are not God’s church—we are! Everywhere you go is ground zero for God’s work. Call your neighbors. Pray from all directions. Do what you can to share who Jesus is. Be the church!
In Christ’s Love,