What the World Needs Now

Recently, I’ve been seeing a worrying trend. As this pandemic drags on, I see more angst, fear, and division infiltrating conversations and communities. People are adhering differently to stay-home orders; church members are envisioning different futures in reopening the church; even grocery shoppers are reacting to new rules and policies in a variety of ways. As we all grow more frustrated by the week, that pent-up frustration is spilling into areas of our lives where it has no place.

This is a time for unity and grace in the church.

As Pastor Bret Lamsma said in a recent Today devotion, “All too often we let differences divide us. We tend to be afraid of other people or new situations, and we don’t take the time to see each other as children of God who are created in his image.”

There is a wide spectrum of how and how soon church buildings should reopen. I’ve seen different opinions already cause division where I work. I’ve also been guilty of allowing differences to create separation between me and people and ministries I care deeply about.

But here’s the truth about continuing to lead through COVID-19: we’re all figuring this out as we go. There are no experts on how to conduct ministry—or work or life, in general—in the midst of a global pandemic.

Don’t “give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27) in your ministry. Don’t allow Satan to have a place to divide you from your church or your church from your community. Instead, let’s extend grace to one another. So the church down the street isn’t responding in a way you like—that’s okay. There’s room for grace. Maybe your own church isn’t creating plans that you agree with—now’s a time to show grace to those in leadership. Let’s gather around and be a unifying force for good.

Jesus is still at work in the mess.

We’re all working toward the same goal. And we can all trust that even in this mess, Jesus is at work. Now is not the time to throw a fit. Show grace. Work toward unity.

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