Church Under Siege, Redefining the Church in times of Corona Virus
I beleive in times of transition and in times of crisis, there is so much to learn and so much shifts that take place, provided we embrace them. Many times its about asking the right questions. In this time of the Covid- 19 storm, I believe its the time to revisit that good old question, What is the Purpose of the Church? It is to provide motivation, to provide entertainment, to provide a place of refuge for lost souls? Let that sink in for a minute.
For most of us, we have beleived that the church is a powerful institution. Yes is powerful, how ever in these days of Corona Virus, churches are being shut down left right and centre. In Australia for example, new measures that were announced to kick in at mid day on the 23th of March, means the church is shut down just like pubs, etc. Of course, the idea is to flattern the curve, and reduce rate of transmission of the virus. In some countries, the number for gatherings are capped at 100, this still means a lot of mega churches from South Africa, to Zimbabwe to United States, didnt meet. They all relied on online services. For many people in third world countries, where data is expensive, there was no church, because watching live was a luxury they couldnt afford. This is a hard reality for many, some could easily have felt isolated, of course this is not good.
However, in saying that, i saw some churches taking the initiative to take the word or the message and distribute them via whats app. In saying that, I appreciate that people were making do, with what was available. In saying that, personally I saw the church being confined and restricted, it was never meant to be that way. Even still in the times of the online services, many people didnt get the memo! This is abnormal, many pastors were taken off guard, they didnt see it coming. If the church is that powerful as we know it to be, why is it being shut down like everybody else!?
What went wrong!? Many are silently asking the above question, others are still to get it, that this is war. Our nations are at at war, economies, companies and industries are vapourising in minutes. With one policy, all bookings for large stadia, theatres, event ventures, disappeared in minutes, and billions lost. Some of the top artists who were meant to perform in Australia, and else where had to cancel. Airlines, lost billions, and are losing billions by the day. According to the CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, who is doing an incredible job by the way, many airlines are going to go bust during this phase! When you see all that going on, we have to ask the question, what is the purpose of the church! With the church and all its glory and power, where were the watch men? Didnt they see the enemy coming on the wall? Or they did, and sounded the alarm but we were not willing to listen, because we got preoccupied, with routine, systems and marketing???
The bible says, my house shall be called a house of prayer, Prophet Isaiah in the 56 Chapter. Lets get truthful, we have seen so many scandals over the years, that its not funny. Pastors running around with side chicks, some even, cheating with someone who they are meant to be marrying off to someone else. How nasty can we get, you preside over a wedding and then you cheat with the wife!? huh?? This is not fiction, not mentioning names as this is not the time or purpose for it. I’m just saying a few things to show how much we have veered off track in a lot of places. However, I’m sure if you are in the pentecostal circles, the above is not a new story to you.
Prayer is high priority in the bible, however, in the modern churches, it has been pushed to the back in many places. I beleive this crisis is an opportunity for many churches to have a relook at their operations and see what did they make the church about?? Is it about flounting private jets to a struggling congregation that then shouts and spins around, whilst going home heavy laden with debts, and being promised that if you sow a thousand dollar seed, you will become a millionaire too!? Lately i came across a young gentleman by the name of Jay Israel, who has really hit hard on some of the goings on, that are just toxic. For many we have known them, but its just that when a pastor comes out into the open and deals with the matter in a candid way, it helps us know that what we are picking up is on point, merely a confirmation really.
A culture of prayerlessness has prevailed in most places, and if truth be told, the ones that pray, few take time to pray for other issues, other than their immediate needs and the needs of their church. We know the virus broke out in December/January, just over a week ago, national day of prayer was hosted by many churches in the United States. A noble move, however, this is March!!! Imagine the whole church as a global movement had observed what was happening and straight away, war like the bible says the church should ( Ephesian 6;12). This means, this was going to be stopped before it got traction. However the attitude I saw was the one of, ‘’Its over there’ in China, so people didnt get the urgency, until voila its in all our shores.
This was never a picnic from the get go. Yes, im aware that there were prophecies given many months prior, the one that I have which is in Shona mentions the symptoms etc and some other issue to take hold in 2020. I think the church still needs to handle how we handle prophecies, how do we handle prophecies of danger etc. Warnings are usually given to remedy action, for people to take a particular course of action, to change actions or put in place preventative measures. There is no point, in being given a prophecy and then you do nothing with the warning, it defeats the whole purpose of the warning in the first place. On that note, I think in the modern day church, prophecies had become more about entertainment as opposed to cautioning, sometimes the bells and whistles that come with the delivery can often cause people to miss the key nuggets because they are caught up in the fan fare.
I could go on and on, but I think it will be unfair for me, not to hightlight a few things that we can do. As the storm of Corona rages on, I think its time to go back to the basics. Lets get back to the basics, let the church take its rightful place, a place of power. We can only do that, when we are willing to let go of all the other things that we have been doing that are not of God, i’m sure for a lot of churches you dont need anyone to tell you.
Its also a time for a WHOLE gospel, a gospel that covers everything, prayer, deliverance, prosperity etc. The danger we have seen, over the years, is there was a heavy reliance on messages of prosperity that appeal to the masses at the expense of things like deliverance, prayer and many other fundamentals and foundation things. It is the absence of those fundamental things that leads many people to be robbed of the many great sides of the gospel. There are some verses that seem basic and foundational, but if you pull them out of the bible, many people will tell they didnt know that verse exists! Balance is very importance, its not one at the expense of the other.
Also where is prayer on the priority list of your church? One of the jobs of an intecessor is to intercept, when was the last time as a church you prayed for something heavily outside the needs of your own church? I will ask you a prophetic question and will rest my case. Could it be that God is calling the church to repentance from prayerlessness and making the church about other fan fares other than His agenda!? Will leave that prophetic question with you. thanks for reading to the end.
For more on prayer, you can check out Prayer, . On that note, we dont know when this will pass, but my encouragement to you, is handle the physical side as you ought to, follow stipulated protocol, ( wash your hands, social distancing etc ) and lets flattern the curve, and of course, do your prayers.
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Wis is an Award Winning Author, and Digital Entepreneur, who encourages people to manifest the leader within and manifest their purpose.
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