As congregations of Christians begin to regather, there are challenges and even threats that local churches will face. Here’s an appeal that I wrote to my own congregation, along with a brief teaching from Romans 14. Perhaps you will find it instructive for you and your church as well.
Dear church family, I’m so excited to regather for an outdoor worship service this Sunday! It is true that we all feel impoverished from the lack of in-person fellowship, but during the past three months of quarantine we’ve also seen God demonstrate His steadfast love and faithfulness toward us, and we are so grateful. As we regather, however, things will be a bit strange. Therefore, it’s very important for each of us to prepare to worship Christ by determining in our hearts to love one another well. We anticipate great blessings from the Lord, but we also recognize that our church family faces challenges and even threats. What do I mean? Whenever we have differences of opinion about how to apply biblical principles to our lives there is greater potential for us to be tempted to love ourselves more than we love one other. But this is not a new problem; it also occurred in the early church. In Romans 14, the apostle Paul teaches believers how to love and honor one another in the midst of our differences. In this new 5-minute video, Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another, I briefly explain and apply some key biblical instruction that we need to obey from our hearts. Please be in prayer for this Sunday, but also be in your Bible. Specifically, read and meditate on two chapters: Romans 14 and Philippians 2. As you do so, ask the Holy Spirit to show you any prideful attitudes that you need to repent of, as well as to help you to walk in the humility and love of Christ.