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The New Normal

As our country and most of the world begins to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, I have a tremendous burden on my heart for what comes next. There’s lots of talk about the “new normal,” the reshaping of various industries and the death of everything from movie theaters to traditional offices. There is an expectation of things never going back to the way they were.

However, in the Church, there seems to be this eagerness to go back to our seats, get moved by worship, inspired by someone’s teaching and go back to business as usual. Like most church-goers, I miss the fellowship, the smiles, the corporate worship and the idea that we are (hopefully) on a mission together, but if all we do is go back to how things used to be, I am certain that we will have missed one of the greatest opportunities in history.

From the very outset of this coronavirus pandemic, I thought, “Wow, this is such a plan of Satan to steal, kill and destroy on a global scale.” That thought had barely formed when Holy Spirit said, “Yes, but My plan is so much grander and greater – far beyond what the enemy could plan – and I am using this time for My glory.” The death toll around the world is tragic. The disruption of industries and the loss of jobs is heartbreaking. There are thousands upon thousands of stories of hurt and loss, but I know that God did not allow the entire planet to be ground to a halt just so that we could go back to business as usual in the Church after it was all over.

This season should mark us, not only because of the tragedy and loss, but because of the tremendous opportunity the Lord has given us to break out of our status quo and embrace what He is doing on the earth in a season unlike any other in history. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, we crossed a threshold as humanity, and especially as the Body of Christ. The more that we – as His body – try to reach back across that threshold and recapture what was, the more irrelevant we will become not only to the people He has sent us to reach, but to the plan He has set forth in these last days.

In this season of lockdown, the Church has flourished:

  • virtual church services have stretched far beyond the bounds of four simple walls
  • the worship and prayer movement has experienced greater unity as worship leaders have connected across the globe
  • missions organizations have had to rethink how to do trainings and outreaches in the midst of quarantine
  • there has been a return to simple acts of worship and kindness to speak the profound love of God to the world
  • more connection and strategy has emerged as a result of more people connecting regardless of geography or culture
Global BURN 24-7 worship session – five different countries represented here.
A declaration of unity across the United Kingdom, even in the midst of lockdown.

As we emerge from lockdown the move of much of the Church seems to be to simply go back to the way things were: spectators on Sunday mornings and slaves to the status quo during the week. WHY?! The Lord has brought us greater unity, an increased sense of purpose and urgency, a powerful voice of victory, a triumphant message of hope and SO MUCH MORE! If we do not grab hold of all that God is doing in this season of global upheaval and carry those things into the next season, then – quite frankly – God help us as the Church because we will have missed out on the biggest global reset since the days of Noah. As we emerge from the immediacy of this crisis, let us not reach back to try and recapture what was when the Lord has put so many invitations to move forward with His dreams, His strategies and His new “normal.”

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