March 18, 2020

Unprecedented. I am willing to bet I have read, heard, and said that word more in the last two weeks than I have in the last two years.

No sports. Unprecedented. College and school campuses closed. Unprecedented. Countries on lockdown. Unprecedented. Bars and restaurants padlocked. Unprecedented. STARR test canceled. Unprecedented. City and neighborhood lockdowns. Unprecedented. Toilet paper shelves barren. Unprecedented.

Yes, these are truly unprecedented times. Perhaps it is a time for the church to step up and be described as unprecedented. Time for the church to truly be the church.

At Aldersgate, we talk about that using three words: CONNECT, LOVE, and IMPACT.

CONNECT: Now is an unprecedented time to CONNECT to God. Spend time each day praying and seeking wisdom and encouragement from the Bible. Perhaps it is a good time to fast or add another spiritual practice to the rhythm of your day.  And it is an opportune time to CONNECT others to God. No Bible-thumping or preaching hell, fire, and brimstone but a time to have genuine conversations with people about God. Listen to their story. Tell your story. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just be real.

LOVE: Now is an unprecedented time to LOVE others. There are many ways to do that. Perhaps one of the most understated is to just be kind. People are anxious. Retail workers are stressed. Leaders are burdened. Business owners are worried. The elderly are lonely. Parents are frustrated. Let’s not judge them. Let’s be kind to them. Let’s show them tangible expressions of love. Use uplifting words. Tip extra. Sit with them. Listen to them. Lend a hand to them.

IMPACT: Now is an unprecedented time to IMPACT our neighborhood, community, and the world. Be generous. Pay for the person in line behind you. Don’t hoard but give away to others. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Join a non-profit working to assist those in the community. Send a note of encouragement to a lonely widow. Reach out to a small business owner. Make a difference in the lives of those around you.

May the church be unprecedented in these unprecedented times!