“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
A “new thing” means change. As Baptists we take as almost an article of faith that change should be resisted. And, while there are several reasons why we resist change, most of those reasons aren’t very good.
Then the pandemic came in like a wrecking ball and changed everything. Baptist leader Ronnie Floyd said, “Everything in the world has changed over these past few weeks. The normal of yesterday will not be the normal for tomorrow.”
Brent Cloyd, an associational mission strategist in Illinois, wrote on his Facebook page: “Somehow I wonder if maybe the Coronavirus has freed the church.”
I think Brent is right. After the lockdown, the church will no longer take our time of fellowship for granted, and rediscover the joy of corporate worship. Many of us are re-evaluating our programing.
Notice it is God who says, “I will make a way.” We just need to be obedient. The pandemic forced the church to be innovative communicating with our members, and to proclaim the Gospel. Just about every church in our state had an online service on Easter. Think of how many people heard the gospel, maybe for the first time.
I have no doubt God will use the change forced by the pandemic for his glory. We just need to be obedient to him.
Rob Cleeton pastors Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Medora.