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  • Writer's pictureJustin Bills

The Three Tenets for Canyon Creek in the time of COVID-19

Because things are changing so quickly, things can feel uncertain about how church is done. What happens to small groups? How do we stay connected? Is church “just” going to be watching a live stream in our pajamas? How do we live out our calling when we are often confined to our own homes?

I felt to write three tenets to help guide us through this time as a church. Rather than answer every question, these tenets will be more principles to guide us to the answers. “Tenet” comes from the root “To hold”. These are truths for us to hold onto that will give us a foundation when things around us are changing. My prayer is that with these tenets in our minds, we will continue to be the church God has made us to be: loving, affective and full of God’s heart.

Here they are:

The Three Tenets for Canyon Creek in the time of COVID-19

  1. Do whatever is most loving towards our neighbours.

Galatians 5:14

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

We seek in this time to love those around us as best we can. This means seeking to serve those who need help, to be generous to those in need, and to keep our eyes and ears open to those that need encouragement and prayer.

This also means that we take the guidelines of the experts and government seriously. We in no way want to harm our neighbours by contributing to the spread of the Coronavirus. So, whatever is the recommended conduct we will follow. Which includes not meeting in person but rather online, making phone calls instead of going for coffee, and when we do meet people that need help we keep a safe distance and wash our hands.

We do not believe God would call us to risk endangering the health those around us; especially the vulnerable amongst us.

2. Our mission to be and make disciples does not change.

Matthew 28:17-20

When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Church is not cancelled, nor is it simply reduced to “watching a video on Sunday mornings”. We are the church. We're God’s hands and feet on this planet. Whenever we ask “how would Jesus live my life if it were his?” We will be living out our call as the church. There is no virus that could stop this from happening. This means that our involvement in “church” doesn’t reduce. Although our volunteer positions may be reduced or change, our involvement in being the church does not. In fact, we use this as an opportunity to lean into this calling even more as people are in need of hope and peace. Whatever we do to seek the kingdom of heaven to be realized on earth is exactly our purpose as a church.

3. We will not stop connecting with one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We will prioritize connecting in this time. Just because we will not be meeting in person does not mean we will fall away from staying connected to one another, encouraging one another, praying with one another, and spurring each other on toward love and good deeds!

This means your small group should not be canceled but moved online through software like zoom or skype. Your outreach ministries should not be canceled but changed to grocery deliveries, or notes written for nursing homes, or donations given to people in need.

Nothing needs to be canceled, rather things will need to be modified. Whatever we do to stay connected is the right thing to do.

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