Many reading this will agree that this past year has been one of the most difficult and the most unusual. Many will also shout, “Thank goodness that it’s almost over!”
But is it? I’m not speaking of the pandemic, but of what has been birthed from it. And what I’ve seen birthed are new ways of doing ministry.
I do not believe that new ways of doing ministry are a fluke or merely what we had to do to keep everyone together, like the proverbial hen with her chicks. I truly have been feeling the Spirit moving mightily since last Pentecost.
And I have wondered if this is God getting us out from behind our church walls and shaking us up. I am not saying that God caused the pandemic, but I do believe that God used it so that we would have to think outside of the box.
This feeling of the Spirit moving hasn’t gone away and, in fact, I have felt that it’s been ramping up considerably within the last two months. As the feeling ramped up, I felt compelled to share, wondering if anyone else was feeling this way as well.
The high point came in mid-April during my morning devotions. I was sitting outside—it was right before a storm. The air felt charged with energy. God led me to Mark 1 in my Bible. Jesus was at the early point in his ministry. The old religious thought was just beginning to be challenged. We’re told that Jesus lost no time getting to the meeting place so he could teach what God wanted people to know. The people were surprised at his teaching—they sensed something new was happening.
People were buzzing with curiosity, asking, “What’s going on here?” Word spread. People came. People were touched. People believed and went away not only changed, but sharing what they experienced. And as they shared, more people kept their eyes out for Jesus.
I’m sensing the same could be happening today. The feeling I had on that morning in mid-April hasn’t gone away. Are others feeling this movement, this change in the air and in your spirits? Are you feeling a call to be vessels to be used by Christ in your communities, too?
As I’ve been still before God, all I keep discerning is that we need to get out from within our walls to be seen, to do things even in small ways, and to share the love of Christ with others so they can sense and catch the Spirit, too!
We have a group of five people (including me) prayer-walking in the neighborhoods and in the park near our church. We posted the pictures from one walk on Facebook, and we had over 200 hits to the various pages we shared it with.
People commented, saying they saw us and that the next time, they would come out for prayer. Several people have contacted me to talk about their struggles and faith.
Our church is trying to come up with other ways to be seen out in our community because we’re beginning to realize that people need believers to put themselves out there, knowing that not too many people come through the doors any more.
If you feel the Spirit moving, will you have the courage to not only entertain the possibilities, but the courage to step out to share them? I believe that Jesus needs us more than ever to do so and so do the people within our communities, so that hope can be found.
Catch the Spirit and let the Spirit take you where you’re needed the most!
Susan is a Commissioned Pastor with the RCA and is currently serving as a Chaplain for people with special needs and also as the Pastor at Brookdale Reformed Church in Bloomfield, NJ.