If you haven’t been living under a rock you know that we find ourselves in a unique time under unique circumstances. Challenging even. But we believe God is sovereign. The Bible tells us so. We believe God is good. The Bible tells us so. And so we believe that these circumstances haven’t taken God by surprise. Not. At. All. Not only that, we can be certain that God intends to use our present situation to do some things in us and through us.
The question is: What?
What might God be saying to you in these strange days? What might God want to teach you? What might God want to teach us? What kinds of things might God want to do through his church as we walk through these uncertain times alongside our neighbors, family members and friends? Maybe he just wants us to slow down long enough to discern the answers to these questions. And maybe, just maybe, he wants to remind us that he is sovereign and good and that we really can trust him for everything. One thing is certain. The days and weeks ahead will show us (and others) whether or not we trust our Father in heaven. His Word tells us that we can. His Word tells us that we can live without fear, even if the earth gives way, if we take refuge in our great God and seek after his always available help in time of trouble.
So, what will it be, church? What will we do with the circumstances we’ve been given?
Will we trust God? Will we lean into his sovereignty and goodness when fears and anxiety threaten to overtake us? Will we draw closer to Christ and closer to one another, or will we drift, carried away by the disruption in our routines and the uncertainty that surrounds us?
Will we commit ourselves to be and do what God has called us to be and do, as the church, even though it might require a little outside-the-box creativity and a little more intentionality?
By the way, that’s the idea behind “House Church.”
If we can’t gather as one large spiritual family, we can still gather in our homes, and we can worship our King. No one is stopping us from doing that. We can submit ourselves to the preaching of his Word, and we can seek to live as everyday disciples who are able to adapt faithfully to whatever situation we find ourselves in. In a word, even if we can’t GO to church, we can still BE the church.
And you know what? Maybe, just maybe, we need to learn how to do that. Maybe we need our routines disrupted and our cages rattled a bit. Maybe the walls that separate Sunday from the other six days need to come tumbling down. Maybe our homes need a little more Jesus in them, on Sundays and every other day of the week. We can’t wait for the day when we can gather for worship again, but until then we’re going to lean hard on our heavenly Father and trust that he knows what we need better than we do. And we’re going to try our best to think about “church” outside the box. We hope you’ll come along for the ride.
In order to do our part, in response to our President’s request that gatherings be limited to no more than ten people, we’re going to suspend our weekly public worship gatherings and all meetings at the church building through the end of March. After March 29, we will reassess.
Thankfully, technology enables us to connect remotely, to be together even when we’re apart. Like we do every week, we’ll be hosting a live worship service on Facebook at 11 am until further notice. Our worship team will lead us in song, and Pastor Mike will preach. We’ll have a time for announcements, and we’ll “pass” the offering baskets. We encourage you to make participating in this virtual gathering a priority. In fact, we encourage you to commit to “attend” the live stream service just as you would our weekly in-person worship gathering. Doing so is of vital importance to your spiritual health and the health of our church.
The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25) Let us not neglect to meet together, friends. Though we must be apart, let’s endeavor to gather when, where, and how we can so as to encourage one another during these uncertain days.
So, click HERE to access our Facebook page, and we’ll meet you there live at 11 am on Sunday for worship.
Be the Church
Now, you might be asking what you can do beyond watching and participating in a Sunday morning service from the comfort of your couch. We hope so. Because there is certainly more (but not less) to being the church than that. Here are some suggestions:
If you’re comfortable doing so and everyone is healthy, invite ONE family or individual over to participate in the weekly worship service with you. Afterward, share a meal and talk about it. (We’ll provide some weekly reflection questions.)
Monday-Friday, make ONE phone call per day to someone in our church. Ask how that person or family is doing. Pray together. If you need help with contact information and you don’t yet have access to our digital directory, now is a great time to get connected. Just email Cathy Carroll at email@example.com, and she’ll be glad to walk you through it.
If you’re part of a small group or a MtnVu U mens or ladies group, you may or may not be meeting during these days. Regardless, this is not the time to disconnect. Remember, disconnect leads to drift. For all of us. So, be intentional. Be creative. Consider how you can encourage one another to stay the course right now. You might even choose to “meet” via an app called Zoom which allows for virtual face-to-face meetings between multiple individuals.
Did you know that we have an entire library of Christian content available free of charge to every person and family who attends MountainView Church? It’s called RightNow Media, and it has tons and tons of resources, including Bible studies and kids programming, that you can use to strengthen your faith right from home, both during these days and in the future. If you’d like sign up for account just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know that our pastors and elders remain available to talk and pray with you anytime. We know this is a challenging season, and we want you to know that we’re here to shepherd you, to encourage you, and to lead you through it. You can always call the church office at 828-835-8100, you can email Pastor Mike at email@example.com or Pastor Justin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One final thing. During these days we expect that our giving will take a hit. It’s understandable. We’re not meeting for worship, and that’s when most people give. But we ask that you’ll make it a point to continue to give intentionally and sacrificially. Regardless of whether or not we’re meeting for worship, it’s still an act of worship, as everyday disciples, to give to the Lord. More importantly, it’s an act of faith. It demonstrates that we’re trusting in the Lord and not our own resources. And what better time to put our money where our mouth is (pun intended) that during these days of uncertainty. Trust in God is always a lived out thing. It is always acted upon, and we’re moving forward believing God will provide for all our needs and those of the ministries and missionaries we support. We hope you’ll continue to help us do just that through your regular financial gifts.