From the Pastors Desk
Sep25FriSeptember 25, 2020
BOOK LOOK by Cathy Chapin
the Post Quarantine Church by Thom S. Rainer
Six Urgent Challenges + Opportunities That Will Determine the Future of Your Congregation
I was first introduced to the author Thom Rainer when Ross and I joined Community Bible Church. Byron handed us a book titled I Am a Church Member- Discovering the Attitude That Makes The Difference. We were to study this book over the course of 6 weeks and then officially join the church. I am embarrassed to admit that I was underwhelmed by the title of this little book. I could not have been more mistaken. It was well written, concise and challenging.
A respected pastor and teacher, Thom Rainer is a writer, researcher and former president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. He currently holds the same titles for an organization called Church Answers.
He is quoted as saying that he has written many books with the word “Church” in the title and this timely book I share with you today is no exception…the Post Quarantine Church. Rainer reveals insights he has gathered from thousands of surveys of church leaders and in-person consultations. It provides insightful creative ideas to help uplift God’s church in the post-quarantine world while identifying six key challenges (he reframes as opportunities )that will determine the future of our congregations in North America and indeed globally.
- Gather Differently and Better
- Seize Your Opportunity To Reach The Digital World
- Reconnect With The Community Near Your Church
- Take Prayer To A New And Powerful Level
- Rethink Your Facilities For Emerging Possibilities
- Make Lasting Changes That Will make A Difference
There were times during this read that I had to take a deep breath and truly ingest the truth that the church as I knew it will never be the same HOWEVER the good news is GOD IS THE SAME- HE HAS NOT CHANGED. Rainer reminds us that “the Bible contains one story after another about change. Abraham led his family to an unknown land. Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt toward a new land of promise. Joshua led the people into both the promises and challenges of the new land. The early followers of Jesus traveled on missionary journeys from one town to another, often at great cost and great risk.”
Throughout this small powerful book there are thoughts expressed within a single sentence that pack a wallop. For example:
*Leaders must continue to lead with urgency. We are on a NEW MISSON FIELD and the bottom line is we cannot do things the way we’ve always done them.”
*Time frames for the Church to cast their vision used to be measured in 3 to 5 to sometimes 10 years. NO MORE. Vision casting will be measured in months.”
*We cannot demand a new and healthy culture into existence. Culture is the RESULT OF CUMULATIVE ACTIONS.
*Yesterday’s long term planning teams must become today’s short term action groups.”
*Post- Quarantine Churches in this Post-Quarantine era will have to lead without total clarity and with uncertainty. You can no longer lead with bygone expectations, perspectives and methodologies. A new era requires a new approach if you want to successfully reach the people God has placed in your path.
*Churches cannot minister effectively using methods for a world that no longer exists.”
Rainer weaves hope embedded in Christ throughout the book. I will end with quote he wrote in the beginning pages: “If I could offer some simple advice as we begin, it would be this: be excited and encouraged. Don’t let the unknown become a source of fear. You are not entering the new era alone. Not only is God with you; He has gone before you.”