And let us consider how to stir-up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Heb. 10:24–25)
So, for the great many pastors who are blessed with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places and have been endowed with gifts from the Holy Spirit are currently doing NOTHING during these trying times (admin is not pastoring). We see nurses, postal workers, and other essential services with the “business as usual” resilience. Is pastoring not an essential service? Some congregation members have not heard from their pastors since last year – no calls, no emails and no care of whether the members are growing or dying spiritually, yet alone some have already died physically. These fearful pastors not only see with eyes of the flesh but have instead, set their mind on the things of the flesh resulting in death, such is their faith… dead also!
There is however a remnant of pastors relevant to society and to the Gospel’s mandate. Alas, some have sadly lost their lives by setting their mind on the Spirit resulting in life and peace in the heavens. These servants of God are not afraid of those who want to kill the body, for Covid-19 cannot touch your soul. So they fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book “Life Together”, he argued that recognition and acknowledgment of the truth about ourselves and our condition as human beings were the only ways to achieve this presence to one another.
Bonhoeffer says, “healthily in accord with God’s good will in the rain and storm and sunshine of God’s outdoors.”
So when members did not come to church prior the pandemic, was it not considered a sign of their relationships? Now the Clergy are encouraging members to stay “isolated”, the urging of tithes and offering haven’t stopped – so why have the ministry come to a halt? Don’t blame the government for apathy – go read of the fate from those martyred. But martyrdom is not my objective here – it’s for pastors to care for the flock at this dark time. This darkness is not meant for slumber for it is the time we awake and shine as lamps upon a hill.
How can people maintain a quality of true community in the midst of such pressures? From the point of view of mission, Zoom, WhatsApp etc. can offer unprecedented opportunities for the intelligent proclamation of the Christian gospel. But could never replace the personal contact?
Our world has drastically changed and we are now being treated as “herds” to “immunity”. Now this is for the greater good of our society, we are requested to observe the rules so not to spreading the virus.
The pressing question is what forms of media might enable such a ministry of experiencing the sweet fellowship – or how is the lack of personal contact fundamentally able to foster genuine communion? In other words, must true community be embodied? If it must, can any form of digital media ever approximate bodily presence of Christ admitting His Church?
People are scared and fearful of dying. The pastor must now need to muster up some faith to do their job and stop treating this as some extra-vacation. Those Christians who are gripped in fear… it’s time you begin to know your maker – you would do well to read your Bible and see for yourself that the day draws near – so when you had depended upon your Pastor more than your God – the day of uncertainty has arrived to put your faith in God!
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.