Churches in general are struggling this time of isolation. The main focus of the church is not happening – the Sunday worship service.
Does the church exists without a physical Sunday gathering? We need to do this question continually as we look for wisdom and pathways in this non-precedent situation in the Western church.
What if I rearrange the words of the question into something like this?
Does the Sunday gathering exists without a church?
Throughout the church history leaders have struggled with the right positioning of the Mission of the church and the methods of the church. When nothing difficult and challenging happens, the method becomes the mission as it is easier for most of people to follow. Whatever the method, less or more spiritual, the method to achieve the mission could become a replacement for the mission itself.
When the persecution happened in the first church of Jerusalem, surely none of them enjoyed that as they fled for their lives. The church they knew was not in operation. But the church grew in number and in various places. Either God ordered or used the persecution to drive the first Christians out of their method, we don’t know, but we have seen the fruit. Churches sprung up where Christians went. Why? The message of the Risen Christ was in their hearts and they were willing to share it with those new neighbors. They didn’t knew that in their times of misery, God was going to use them. They shared the Gospel in the same way as they asked for new jobs. Christ brought freedom to them. Freedom from religion into a lively relationship. Freedom to worship God everywhere and with everyone who was willing.
Today, as I think and plan, I feel the tension of working on adapted methods for this season. What possibly is more needed, is the rekindling of the passion to do the will of God in our current situation. A passion to re-understand the mission of God for His people.