God knows what He's doing
Earlier this year I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a virtual talk with TGC Canada on church planting in a pandemic. Myself and three other pastors/planters across Canada joined together to discuss our experiences starting a church on the heels of COVID19. I don’t think any of us – going into 2020 – anticipated planting in a pandemic.
But here we are, November 2020, and we’re doing it.
In fact, I’ve seen the Holy Spirit moving more in the last 10 months than I have in the fall of 2019.
Naturally, however, planting in the conventional sense (i.e. physical gatherings, pre-launch services, community outreach) has taken a hit. With the onslaught of physical gathering restrictions, KCC needed to learn how to adapt in a world where change was occurring on a daily basis. For example, leading up the pandemic, having an active social media presence was something I took for granted.
Why be on social media when I can be in the community?
I took social media for granted.
As many pitfalls and dangers that social media has, it’s also allowed us to be a presence when we couldn’t be present. And it is through social media that we’ve been able to continually engage with our community.
COVID19 has changed us all – no doubt – from the way we perceive the world, each other, and ourselves, but COVID19 has also allowed churches to reevaluate how they’re engaging with their communities. I’m in no way downplaying the impacts that COVID has had on many people the world over, but I’m convinced that the pandemic has caused a global shift in how things are done – including church.
Because we’ve been able to maintain an active social media presence, we’ve had a number of people from the community reach out to KCC and we, in turn, have been able to form new relationships that otherwise didn’t exist 12 months ago. I don’t know why, and I can’t explain it, but God has caused more people to reach out to us in the last 11 months than in the later half of 2019.
And now that we’re back to a semi-normal life, we’re able to have an active presence in the community. But even now, there’s a stark contrast to our experiences in the fall of 2019. If you remember last year, I wrote a blog post about how, after 10 weeks of doing a Bible study, one individual finally engaged with us from the community. We were over the moon excited!
This time around, even before starting our second community Bible study, we had 10 people from the community engaged and considering attending. Again, how do we go from 1 to 10 in just 12 months?
Week over week, we are consistently seeing 5-6 people from Kilbride attending our Bible study. This is huge! It’s exciting and it’s hard to not dream a little and think that these people, one day, could be the beginnings of an actual congregation in Kilbride.
But, for now, we are content to study the Word in a small setting, get to know each other, and do life with one another.
I never thought I would be planting in a pandemic but I’m so thankful that we have a God who knows what He’s doing, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. And that’s what I rest in. I know God is good, and sovereign, and will work all things out for His glory but sometimes it's just fun to sit back and watch the work that He’s doing.