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
Mark is in his twenty-seventh year of serving as an Associational Missions Strategist. He served in western Iowa for almost eight years, and is in his nineteenth year with HCN. He has a passion to see pastors and church leaders grow in their abilities to lead their churches. He continues to have a heart and desire to see new churches planted and God continues to use his strategic thinking skills in this area. Mark also has a wealth of experience in helping churches clarify who God has created them to be, and what they can do best to reach their community. He has had ample opportunities to help churches in times of conflict, and has seen God do exciting things to restore a spirit of harmony, returning churches to a time of fruitfulness. He also helps churches in transition by working with search committees. Mark and Phyllis who were married in November of 2018 have four children and three grandchildren. They will enjoy their combined 87th anniversary in just a few days.