- Foundations of Truth
The Church of 2022
Is the post-pandemic Evangelical church being polarized by politics? Did the church disappoint it’s congregants during the shut-down years? What faces the awakening church as their congregations return?
A recent Facebook post by leadership author Carey Nieuwhof looked at the church going forward in 2022 and its challenges. Leadership will be answering some questions never voiced previously. These include when to reopen and how, who is going to return and, who is not. Safety issues are involved in this question of fully opening the doors. Masks or no masks, vaccinations, or no vaccinations are top concerns for some who step tentatively back into public gatherings including the church. Leaders tread lightly to avoid social polarizing within the congregation. Should a new variant arise that is deemed worthy of re-masking, that will also be an issue.
Church on demand is here to stay. Churches are creating studios to produce content that will be available on demand to their church members. In 2021 as many as one in three church members took part in worship ministry online. [i] The concern is how to fully engage those who are not physically returning to the building. How can personal growth and a sense of community return?
Some people felt that the church inadvertently took sides politically during the last three years. Confused by the Covid mandates and health issues, Pastors either refrained from those topics in their pulpits or were actively involved with one side or the other. “It’s hard enough to be going through a complex set of crises…even harder when each crisis creates division and confusion.”[ii]
“Christian unity is critical to the credibility of the gospel, especially in the eyes of the world. If we allow politics to divide us, we risk compromising the integrity and authority of the Church’s witness.”[iii] We must not let our spiritual enemy divide and distract us.
The Bible tells the Christian “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV) It is more important to be “informed of this world” than “conformed to this world”. In being informed with truth, the Christian can stand in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in the power of the pastor, influencer, or thought leader.
Christians are called to be doers of the word, and not hearers only.[iv] To work out the faith is where the Christian can make a difference. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent. The Bible wants believers to abhor sin and speak out against it. If the Christian World View is pulled from having a voice in government, all is lost.
Being proactive in areas that God has called a believer to is to be in communion with God’s will for your life. Prayerfully considered action is richer than uninformed reaction. Each church must decide as they go forward in 2022 and beyond.
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[i] https://livingchurch.org/2021/10/12/is-there-a-place-for-post-pandemic-hybrid-worship/ [ii] https://www.barna.com/church-mission/ [iii] https://www.tyndale.com/sites/readthearc/how-to-talk-politics-as-christians-and-why-we-should-care/ [iv] James 1:22 ESV