Post-Pandemic Church: Pop-Cultural or Biblical? by LARRY TOMCZAK for Charisma News
“So Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth” (Gen. 8:11).
This is not the end of the world but the end of an era. Sequestered in our “bunkers” we’ve been surveying the situation and, as Christians, we shouldn’t succumb to an understandable sentiment: “Let’s hang in there so we can soon resume everything the way it was.”
After the flood everything changed. After World War II everything changed. After 9/11 everything changed. It is not an overstatement to say that after the coronavirus everything will change.
Economy. Professional sports. Health care. Hollywood. Jobs. School. Travel. Child care. Shopping. Youth athletics. Campaigning. Restaurants. Military. Entertainment. Elections. College. Cruises. Funerals. All have been impacted dramatically and permanently. There is no going back to Kansas—constant change is here to stay.
We dare not leave out church. Scores sense this season of divine disruption is a “dress rehearsal.” God is purifying, developing endurance and laying out lessons so we’re better prepared for the “last days perilous times” (2 Tim. 3:1). In the meantime, we’re reflecting, recalibrating and resetting to not miss this unexpected, unbelievable, teachable moment.
My previous defining moment came during the 70s “Jesus Movement.” Teaching at a gathering of 2,000 young people near the White House, I had a “woke” moment with our team. Would we maintain “business as usual” with the successful, weekly teaching service (diluting the New Testament model for church) or make changes to align with Scripture?
We finally embraced the latter as pioneers, not settlers. This eventually birthed a strong church, then a movement of over 60 churches in the U.S. and abroad.
In our current watershed moment when so much has been brought to a standstill, many leaders believe the church needs to make radical adjustments. I submit the following three areas:
1. Deconstruction. We need to deconstruct our prevalent gospel presentation to highlight repentance, lordship and the kingdom of God as they are so evident in the Gospels, Acts and Epistles. There simply is no biblical basis for a “Jesus as Savior only” message. The content of our message determines the quality of our converts! And if we want New Testament results we have to recover the New Testament pattern.