What will the church be known for in 2020? This is the question that I’ve kept coming back to time and time again over the last few months. Will we be known for suddenly unleashing a bandwidth surge of low budget worship services onto the internet like a great wave every Sunday? Will we be known for watching on helplessly as society and the economy crumbles, all our normal strategies for practical support hamstrung by physical distancing? Will we be known for losing half of our young people who didn’t like the way we “pivoted”? Perhaps there is even a longer and sadder thread that we will only become aware of as hidden stories slowly start to surface. Or perhaps we will look back at 2020 and retell a story of greater fruitfulness and missional creativity! I certainly hope we are known for our love and unity in Christ.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the extraordinary hardship of this year will be used by God to shift the church to be more evangelistically energetic as we focus in on what truly matters. At the same time we will probably also see a trend towards becoming more broad-church in practice as the void of past strengths, like singing, needs to be filled with edifying activities of corporate worship. I might be wrong, and I pray we are guided according to biblical principles through any changes in the months and years ahead rather than mere necessity as our mother of all invention.
I’m very thankful to God for each of the contributors to Essentials as well as the wider EFAC community as we support each other during this crucial time. Learning from each other, encouraging each other, and sharpening each other in Christ will help us to stand firm through any trial. Perhaps as you’re reading through this edition there might be an article that you think someone else might benefit greatly from. If there is then don’t hesitate to pass it on and encourage them to go to the EFAC website to stay in the loop. I’m sure you can think of one or two other people you are in contact with who aren’t currently subscribed to receive Essentials and are missing out on this stuff.
Of course, we’re always open to hearing what is most beneficial to include in each journal so don’t hesitate to reach out and drop us a note.