2020... What A Year!

2020 ... What A Year!
Like most of you, I am ready for 2020 to be in the record books.  As I look back over this year, I am tired but thankful.  For example, as of this week we have had 26 straight weeks of Drive-In Worship and have not been rained out!  This is absolutely amazing, and I can’t help but thank the Lord for His provision and protection.  Drive-In Worship has allowed us to safely gather and even reach some new families in our community.  I realize it isn’t ideal and we are limited in what we can do, but I am thankful for how God has used Drive-In Worship to help us stay connected as a church.

Also, this past Sunday was our ninth week of indoor worship in our remodeled sanctuary.  I am thankful for our medical team and the many volunteers who have helped to make it possible for us to worship inside our worship center.  I am thankful we have been able to meet without incident these past nine weeks.  I am thankful for the new faces we see each week, and I am anticipating more new faces joining us in coming weeks. Over the past couple of weeks, we have started opening up the balcony!  It is exciting!  

As I sit here, I can’t help but think of some of the lessons I have learned during these months.

First, I have been reminded of God’s faithfulness.

We have certainly experienced God’s sustaining grace over these months.  When this whole thing started, I had no idea it would last this long.  When we moved into the summer, I thought Drive-In Church would shrivel up.  However, God has been at work in our hearts, and He has been sustaining us all through these months.  I am still amazed when I get up on that roof and look out and see a parking lot full of cars. God’s faithfulness has also been seen in the development of online ministries and the use of social media, both of which help us to stay connected with each other.  Additionally, God’s faithfulness has been demonstrated in your faithfulness in giving through this difficult time.  I am thankful your love and commitment for our Lord and His mission has not waned through this difficult time.  It seems you have discovered God’s faithfulness in a fresh way, and it is sustained your passion for Him.

Second, I have been reminded that God honors creativity.

When Shaun Noble came to me with the idea of Drive-In Church it was intriguing, but I wasn’t sure how it would be received.  Needless to say, when I looked out from the roof top that first Sunday, I was speechless.  I am so thankful for how well it has gone, and I am thankful for how God has blessed it.  After CBN came and did a story on our church, we were fielding calls from churches from different parts of the country wanting to know how to do Drive-In Church.  Let us never forget God made us to be creative people, and He honors creativity.

Third, I have been reminded that only God is essential.

I’m sure all of us have realized we had routines, preferences, and habits that were important to us but have learned they are not essential.  The Lord has shown Himself to be faithful, and He is essential.  I have learned I can go without many things (like eating out), but I can’t thrive without pursuing God.  God is essential.

Finally, I have been reminded of the importance of corporate worship.

The Bible says, “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it”. If our Lord loved the church enough to die for it, then we should respect it enough to support and attend it.  I already said, I was speechless the first Sunday of Drive-In Church (I know… hard to believe.).  It meant a lot to see everyone even if it was through a windshield.  However, when I started seeing people in person in the sanctuary, I was emotional.  I know you might be thinking, “How can you really see people when they have to wear masks and social distance”?  I get it.  It doesn’t sound very appealing.  All I can say, is it impacted me when I could hear other voices, see eyes light up, and have interaction even with social distancing limitations.  It became real to me why the writer of Hebrews wrote, “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together”. I appreciate online resources and even technology that allows us to broadcast to cars, but it became clearer to me why Christians around the world are willing to risk so much to be with one another in worship.  There is nothing sweeter than being together as we worship our Lord.

If you are high-risk, I am thankful you can take advantage of Drive-In and online worship options.  It makes me happy those resources are available for you.  Please stay safe and do what is best for you and your family.  We miss you but we know when this is over, we will see you again in worship!  If you are NOT high-risk and you haven’t tried coming back to worship in person, let me encourage you to give it a shot.  It is easy to do!  I hope you each know that you are loved and missed.  Please do not underestimate the impact your presence can have in someone else’s life.

As a church we have a job to do… we are committed to building bridges to our community so we can deliver the transforming message of Jesus.  It is my prayer as we finish out 2020, we will grow more focused on our Lord, committed to His mission, and more in love with each other.

Have a great week, and I hope to see you Sunday!

Pastor Will

Visit greatbridge.life to register for Sunday’s Indoor Service; registration is open until 4PM on Saturday afternoon. Drive-In Services do not require a reservation. Our online services are live streamed on Sundays at 10:30AM at live.greatbridge.life and later archived at greatbridge.life/media.
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