“To meet or not to meet!” Is that the question?
I’m parodying the opening Act 3, Scene 1 soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Prince Hamlet pondered:
To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep…
Hamlet’s query pitted the possible “rest” of death (or sleep) against living on to face life’s unpredictable “fortune” and unavoidable “sea of troubles.” “Which is better?” he wondered.
But, let’s not get lost in Shakespeare! Our decision TODAY is a bit less consequential, but still important and weighty.
When should Christ Community Church (Ames) be called back to GATHER in worship and fellowship together on our beautiful campus?
Not surprisingly, some are ready to return while others are less-than-eager. Some view the ongoing threat as low; others believe it high. And so we as shepherds under the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1) continue to seek and act with wisdom following the Master.
As Executive Pastor Mark Henderson has stated, we are using two simple guidelines for our decisions, to which I will add a third:
- Our first guide will be our responsibility to be good citizens and members of the community. We will listen to the guidance of our state and local officials regarding when and how they direct us to begin to open back up for ministry.
- Our second guide will be safety. We will plan and prepare now to establish guidelines and best practices for when we can get back together. This plan requires flexibility. Something we are all getting better at in this season with lots of practice! Once we have permission to get back together and we can do that safely, we will joyfully gather physically as the church.
- Our third guide will be quality of discipleship experience. That is, using technology well, we are enjoying a wonderful season of interpersonal extra-effort, through the internet, enhancing beyond what we imagined our discipling interactions. Granted…this should not be our permanent approach, but it is yielding fruit in our lives, more prayer, more concern, and safe leaning-in and sharing.
That observed, we will green-light a return to worship and discipleship experience on the campus when it can be done safely, freely, and without interactive hesitation. To invite everyone back before we can have quality (and normal) discipleship interaction doesn’t make sense.
We are enjoying a remarkable season of interpersonal extra-effort -- through the internet--enhancing beyond what we imagined our discipling impact. So… well done, everyone!
THE MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION – “To disciple or not disciple?”
We should keep our “eye on the ball,” right? The most important matter is whether or not good connecting people to life-defining relationships in Christ is happening. And looking from where I sit, it is. One example – our Wednesday night Middle School and High School numbers of connections (i.e., those linking in and being taught, prayed for, and interacted with) are growing…surprise! surprise! The Spirit of God is doing something more than we imagined. Just like Him, eh?
Discipling one another, encouraging one another, taking spiritual strides together despite the restrictions and inconveniences. That is what we are after. So, may I ask these things of you?
First, KEEP CONNECTING creatively with those in your network of relationships. Keep connecting in life-defining ways in Christ.
Second, FILL OUT THE CHECK-IN SURVEY this week (ccames.org/checkin). Do it NOW if you are able. At the end of the survey are some additional questions about when and where to begin gathering for public worship services. We’d like to take your pulse on this. The more of us who do the survey, the more helpful!
Third, PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER and FOR WE WHO ARE CCC leaders. We love you, and we need you to pray.
Fourth, TUNE IN SUNDAY MORNING (again). We have priceless words from the Spirit in Proverbs 3:3–4 this weekend, and we are celebrating the Lord’s table together.
“See” you Sunday!