I know we are all in agreement that God was not taken by surprise by the events of the past month. Therefore, we need to look to Him to see how we can turn a negative into a positive. How can we get on top of a tidal wave, ride it out, and use its energy for good—just like a surfer would ride a wave?
One major way that we can create positive energy is to shift our teaching themes during our on-line Sunday morning worship time to put special emphasis upon foundational issues. Take a page from Vince Lombardi’s playbook. He would on occasion stand before his team (one of the best professional football teams in his day) and declare, “Men, this is a football.” Then he would proceed to talk about the fundamentals of running, blocking, and tackling. Let me encourage you to help individuals and their families to enhance or for many of them begin a daily personal devotional and/or family chapel time. In times of crisis and chaos, it's always important to focus on the things that are truly important.
Many people have more at-home and discretionary time that could be used for spiritual development. This is a great time to talk about spiritual disciplines— linked here is a discussion summary of John Ortberg’s excellent book “Soul Keeping.” I have also attached a PowerPoint and a worksheet I have used to teach on selected spiritual disciplines. You are welcome to edit them to fit your needs.
As always, I am praying for you.
Mark Elliott, DoM
Retiring in April 2022, Mark R. Elliott served as a Director of Missions (Associational Mission Strategist) in Western Iowa and Eastern Nebraska for almost three decades. He is a strong advocate for obedience and Biblically based disciple making. As such, he knows that making healthy disciples requires Christian leaders to be constantly pursuing spiritual maturity—be lifelong learners. Because of the time constraints of ministry, most pastors focus their reading list on resources that assist them in teaching and preaching the Word of God. As such, books focusing on church health, leadership development, and church growth tend to find their way to the bottom of the stack. With that reality in mind, Mark has written discussion summaries on several books that have helped him to personally grow in Christ and that tend to find themselves on the bottom of most pastor’s stack. Many pastors have found them helpful as they are able to more quickly process great insights from other pastors and authors.