Without being foolish, leaders of congregations who desire to follow the blueprint of Scripture need to practice and model the confidence, faith, and courage of the early apostles which we see in the Book of Acts. The Holy Spirit honors that kind of faith by producing thriving churches—even in challenging and hostile circumstances. Whenever the apostles (and the generations who followed them) lost energy or passion for the great mission of God, the Holy Spirit would nudge them forward.

There are countless potential reasons why many churches across America have not been able to survive the pandemic. Some were shut down at the worst possible time and no one felt confident to make hard decisions. Some church leaders have a misplaced idealism about requiring total consensus and become paralyzed by their caution. Some have been intimidated by overreaching government officials who have unfairly restricted worship. And some pastors are hesitant due to a fear of criticism and the need to please everyone.

We should consider these lessons from the pandemic when choosing a church home. My practical application to each of you is this:

First, choose to participate in and support those churches that are fulfilling the biblical blueprint.
You may choose to not be involved in congregations that are “shell-shocked” and paralyzed by a coronavirus-induced PTSD.

You may choose to not support churches that have abandoned the core teachings of our faith to chase after opinions, values, and teachings that are more popular to a secular culture.

You may choose to not invest yourself in churches that are in pure survival mode and have lost the passion or ability to reach out in Christ’s name to a needy world.

You may choose to not support churches and Christian ministries whose leaders are not living a godly and righteous lifestyle.

In addition to choosing your church wisely, I encourage you to recommit yourself to being a faithful and obedient follower of your Master. Start with reading the New Testament. Whatever else this year may bring, putting Scripture into our hearts and minds will certainly make us stronger and better followers of Christ.

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.
– Acts 4:32-33 (NLT)

by Pastor Doug Pratt