(pic credit: ‘Sea-scape’ ©2017-2020 by Dick Robinson. Used with permission from the family and estate of Dick Robinson)
Quarantine Lessons 1: Easy Entrance
Yes, like the rest of the world, we’re ‘sheltering in place’ and currently prohibited from gathering with people. We’ve had many, many corporate worship events lined up in this season that have been totally cancelled.
I’m asking the Lord to show me what He wants me to learn in this time of limited movement and intense community fear.
Like so many, we’ve been connecting on-line with peeps, and streaming all kinds of live worship times, Bible teaching and podcasts. Increasingly, the worship is one person and a single streaming camera; I just wrapped a half-hour of worship with Pat Barrett and his acoustic guitar from his Mini-Van parked in his home driveway, the only quiet place he could find with his three little ones bouncing around in the house (it was awesome!)
In my ‘worship-leader FB boards’, I’m reading a great deal about people generally freaking and stressing about having their church gigs cancelled… all that money on lights and In-Ear systems and wrap-around vid walls! God’s kidding, right?
I did take in a bit from note-worthy pastor Max Lucado that was exploring this quarantine as a rapid re-shaping of the American church, possibly closing hundreds of small, week-to-week survival churches. Lucado asked, “Is this a form of Diaspora? Is this a form of God saying, ‘Okay, you’ve become too comfortable–in big buildings, or in nice buildings, and traditional preaching?'”
I would add, “…and with the whole thing you call ‘contemporary worship’??”
Almost three decades ago, as we were preparing to go internationally as missionaries, we took in a training class that said, “as missionaries, you will find yourselves in situations without a church of Christians, solid Bible teaching in the region, or worship services you can be a part of. Sometimes, in remote church planting, YOU are the church leaders and Bible teachers and teachers of worship. Missionaries have to learn how to daily feed themselves in the Word, and how to easily enter into the Presence of the Lord in worship, prayer, thanksgiving and intercession… daily… it’s basic survival.”
The reason was clearly stated; “if you can’t… or don’t… surely you will spiritually die, and your mission work will crash and burn”.
So, we’ve learned how to ‘easily enter in’, regardless if it’s a vibrant, live church service, or a wobbly cassette tape with a dynamic word from THE WORD squeeking out of a small speaker.
Yes, we should never ‘forsake the gathering of ourselves together (in a church service, with other believers)’ (Heb 10:24-25).
However, with our constant ‘trans-local ministry’ travel, we constantly fill our environment with worship music and songs, and do ‘on-line church’ when we can’t get to a live church service on Sunday.
I know that it took time, but I continue to grow into the learned skill of ‘easily entering in’ to the Presence of the Lord. It’s essential.
I can ‘enter in’ when gathered with others in the Body of Christ.
I can ‘enter in’ when it’s a worship band on the computer screen, and I’m listening thru ear-buds.
I was driving into the grocery store parking lot with a worship CD in the car player. The song was all about hope, and the Presence of the Lord filled the car, and I found Him leading me to pray hope for all the freaked people I was seeing.
Quarantine Lesson 1.
“Fine-tune and amplify that skill; be able to grab ahold of My Presence quickly, in any and all circumstances, through any setting. Anywhere. Any time. Alone or a crowded street.”
I hear Jenn Johnson singing, “At The Mention of Your Name”…
After all this COVID19 Quarantine stuff, I don’t think we’ll ever go back to ‘church life’ as it previously existed.
? The new normal?
? What’s next?
A new survival skill… more to come…
written by crisbaj
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All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.
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The Lucado interview can be linked thru Thom Schultz’s wonderful ‘Holy Soup’ blog at: