You know what they say, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it, that counts.” Do you react to those words by wanting to pick a fight? “Excuse me, it matters very much what you say! There’s no excuse for false doctrine.” Okay, so maybe you don’t react in combat mode. Maybe my tendency to want to fight “for the truth” is the reason a friend of mine feels compelled to tell me this frequently.
Right now, as the church moves back to in person worship, it has felt amazing to see many church members in person for the first time in months. And leaders of the church have already been gearing up for the expected problem: many people may not see the need to attend church anymore. How do we get them to come back?
This transition is a good time to analyze what was bad about the “old normal.” Before your church got dismantled by COVID restrictions, was it
- Coasting along on routine?
- Depending on a small circle of active members while the larger population played no role?
- Gathering without personal relationships in your so-called “church family”?
- Ignoring hurting members or troubled homes?
The old normal—even if we miss it—had some problems because Satan was trying to disrupt connections to Jesus and church members are sinners who—on their best days—fail to “serve one another in love” and more frequently stumble and hurt each other.
How are we going to “say it” differently? How are we going to talk about the Savior in a way that people who felt left out now are included? How are we going to show Christian love in a way that even a cynical young generation recognizes that we care? How are we going to accompany the gospel with love for others and zeal for serving?
Changes do not happen without conversation. Consider a Bible class on being a caring congregation.
Share a video on how your message and your members can become a shelter for people in recovery.
Help your congregation become a safe place for children at a time when parents are concerned about abuse.
Show love for people with hearing loss and discover ways they can be a blessing to your church family.
These are just a few of the culture changing tools you can find on the Congregational Services website. Let’s learn how to express our faith and our Christian concern in a better-than-normal way!
Rev. Jim Behringer
Director, Commission on Special Ministries
You can make a difference. Your prayers and gifts can help WELS ministries carry out their missions.