Being the Church

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Although the Little Church on the Prairie and Lakewoodgrace hasn’t been able to meet in person for the past several months, the Little Church on the Prairie and Lakewoodgrace has never ceased to be the church. While the doors to the sanctuary on Sunday mornings may be closed, the ministry of the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace has never stopped.

The only way the church closes is when the people who make up the church stop being the church.

The church was never the building. The church has always been the called people of God. What makes the church the called people of God? What do the called people of God do?

  1. Worship
    The church is made up of people who worship the living God. Although we are not able to gather in the sanctuary or worship space, we’ve not once stopped worshiping together on line
  2. Community
    The church is made up of people who belong to a community of people who serve and love one another in community. We have continued to do so through small groups, multiple Bible studies, choir meetings, and committee meetings by Zoom. The church has gathered to celebrate birthdays, graduations, church holy days through drive by parties
  3. Serving
    The church is made up people who serve and give. Our church people have been picking up supplies for one another, dropping off cooked meals, cookies, sweets, and even floral arrangements for one another. You have been calling, writing notes, and extending your friendship to one another. Your continued generosity through your tithes allow the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace to continue discovering new ways to continue being the church during these unprecedented times

The only way the church stops being the church is when the called people stop worshiping, praying, sharing life together in community, and serving one another. There is no government, no authority, or power to stop the church from being the church.

Thank you for being the church during these unprecedented times. I challenge and encourage you to continue discovering new and creative ways to continue being a church that blesses the lives of others.

We will be a much stronger and better equipped church to Make Disciples, Grow Disciples, and Share the Love of Jesus with all people when we can, once again, safely gather to worship together in person. Until that day, continue being the church by committing to Worship, share life in Community, and Serving and giving.

Jesus expects us to not only make it through this pandemic, but to thrive during this pandemic. We thrive by continuing the practices that make us the church.

It is a privilege to do church with a people like you!

I thank my God every time I remember you…” (Philippians 1:3)

Full, Abundant, and Blessed in a Pandemic

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“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10)

When we started social distancing, no one anticipated that the covid-19 pandemic would last this long. The reality for the great majority of us at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace, even when the social distancing restrictions are removed, is that we will need to continue practicing social distancing as most of us are in the most vulnerable population group.

Many of us entered into this season with the mentality that we will endure and survive this season. I want us to re-examine this mindset.

In our verse of the day Jesus tells us the reason why he took on human form to die for the sins of the world and why he rose again from the dead. Jesus tells us, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Greek has two words that is translated into our English word for life:

  • bio – this is where we get the word biology. This word describes life in the sense of living as opposed to death. This is breathing, existing, surviving.
  • zoa – the fullness of life. This is entirely different than just merely living, existing, surviving. This word describes living a life that is full, blessed, and abundant.

The word for life in our verse for the day is zoa. Jesus tells us that he came that we might live the full, blessed, and abundant life. This is so much more than surviving and enduring. This is life as it was meant to be lived.

As you think about life in this pandemic, Jesus expects us to not only survive, but thrive and grow and mature during this season. Jesus expects our church and for us to grow and thrive during the covid-19 pandemic.

I have been speaking with many of you by phone, and almost all of us are saying that we are doing okay, that we are surviving. I want us to change that mindset. Jesus expects us to grow and thrive. The reason Jesus came is so that we would live the full, blessed, abundant life.

What would it mean for you to thrive during the covid-19 pandemic? What is required for you to live a blessed and abundant life during this season so that when we are able to meet and worship with one another, we are more mature and better than we entered this pandemic?

It begins by changing our mindset from enduring and surviving to thriving and growing. Secondly, it requires us to start looking at our days through the lens of investing. How can we best utilize and invest in our current situation in order to thrive and mature?

I long for the day when we can safely gather together. I also look forward to seeing each of you in your more mature, abundant, and blessed selves.

Think of some things you will need to change in order to thrive and mature during this season and commit yourselves to doing those things.

Not if, But When

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“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock” (Matthew 7:24-25)

Not if, but when.

If you’ve lived long enough, you know that storms in life are inevitable. Therefore, you build your life so that it can withstand the storms. Sure, for the majority of one’s life when things are going well or smooth sailing, having built for the storms of life is overkill. The things your life need to withstand the storms of life are not necessary during the normal course of your life. But that’s not why you built your life to withstand the storm. You built your life on solid foundation because you know storms inevitably come.

That solid foundation is Jesus and the Word of God.

The world is going through a storm. Things we are living through were unimaginable four months ago. If someone had told you that the world would come to a screeching halt, no more international or domestic travel, the entire cruise industry shut down, stores, malls, theaters, sporting events all shut down, that doctors in Spain and Italy would have to choose who would live and who would die as there wasn’t enough capacity to take in all the sick, you wouldn’t have believed them.

Not if, but when.

Build your life to withstand the storms. The key is to build your life on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and God’s word. Commit to building your life on the word of God.

Here are some links that can help you do just that:

There are plenty of free tools online to help you read and study the Bible. That’s the first step in building your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ and God’s word.

Church, if you can grow and thrive as a disciple in this storm, there is little God cannot do with a church like that!