richie leber

The past eight weeks have been an unprecedented era for our world and also for the global Church. What we once considered normal has gone away and we’ve been forced to temporarily adopt a new way of life. Between concerns about health issues, loved ones getting sick, social isolation, massive layoffs and finances, people are experiencing anxiety at higher levels than they have ever dealt with before.

However, despite all the uncomfortable changes and constraints in this time, God has a plan. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” It reminds me that God is using this season to stretch and grow us so that we can accomplish His purpose in the world.

At Life.Church, we believe local churches can do infinitely more together than we can apart, and it has been amazing to see church collaboration grow throughout this pandemic. We have seen more and more conversations happen between church leaders on how to reach people in our communities, care for those in need and start or enhance online worship services. This increased communication is evident in our personal lives as well. I know in my family, we’ve been going on more walks, playing more board games and spending more time laughing through backyard whiffle ball games. We’ve even had more phone calls and video chats with our extended family during this time. We’re learning that even though we are practicing physical distancing, our relationships can grow when we connect to others with intentionality.

Not only are relationships being strengthened throughout the body of Christ, but we’re also seeing many new additions to the family of God. During this global crisis, there has been a huge increase in spiritual curiosity. Rather than turning away from God, people have turned to Him for answers. Google searches have increased significantly for topics like prayer, church, God and church online. Downloads and engagement with the YouVersion Bible App are at an all-time high. Churches of all sizes are reporting that the reach of their online services is greater than their in-person attendance. God is using the local church to reach people through these digital tools at a pace we’ve never seen before.

While we’ve endured a lot of change over these last few months, my prayer is that we’re able to keep a positive mindset and embrace the change because we must change in order to grow. This is true in business, ministry and also in our own spiritual lives. As we look forward, let’s all consider how we will allow God to use what has happened over these last few months to make a permanent change in us.

What bad habits, that we once considered normal, do we not want to return to? What good things do we want to hold on to? I certainly want to continue collaborating with others, being intentional in relationships and making time to explore new ways to share God’s love. Let’s reflect on the lessons we’ve learned and apply them to our lives so we don’t let this season go to waste. Let’s choose to grow through the change.