The conversation in the culture and in the church has turned to ‘When?’ When will we reopen?
The heart behind the question is our longing to return to normal. There is real suffering going on in the culture and we need some normalcy. We need to get back to work and provide for our families. We need to get out of the house. We need to see if the ocean is still there.
For the church the question is: “When will we be able to return to in-person, Sunday morning, worship services?”
What we are longing for is relief from the struggle of this COVID-19 season. We desire the return to ‘normal.’ What we want is to be together, which is the right thing!
“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:44
We will reopen, but when? It could be this month. It may be June or later in the summer. It could be the Fall… but eventually will be together again.
The better question is not When but How. How will be together again? The How will change the When. The How will can be what God uses to bring glory to Himself and advance His Kingdom through us.
It’s likely that our government leaders will incrementally allow groups to beginning meeting again. So first groups of 10 or less, then 25 or less, then 50 or less, etc., etc.
This hampers our return to in-person, Sunday morning worship services – but not our fellowship. The church was built for this!
The mission of the church has never been to have in-person Sunday morning worship gatherings. Never.
Our mission is to make disciples of the nations. The church follows Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost. Our fellowship is beautiful and powerful. It’s what new disciples of Jesus are invited into in order to learn the way of life that Jesus brings us.
So How will we reopen? We’re going Multi-site!
Multi-site is a 21st century strategy by mainly large churches where one church will have multiple places of worship throughout a city or county. You might wonder how Norkenzie can go multi-site when we can’t even meet in our one site. Good question!
We’re not adding a second site. We’re going with 50 sites! We are going House to House.
When the Governor says that groups of 25 or less are able to gather (with the appropriate precautions, I'm sure), BOOM. Norkenzie is ‘reopened!’ We will gather together in multiple sites all over the city. This is who we are… a church of small groups.
This multi-site strategy is a return to the Book of Acts where the early church met in the temple courts AND from house to house.
"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:46-47
So what does your group look like?
• Discipleship Group of 2/3
• Life Journal Group
• LifeGroup (8-10)
• Youth LifeGroup
• Young At Heart
• Breakfast Group
• Encouragers Bible Study
• Saturday Morning Men’s Group
Many Ministry Teams have a strong community component to them and meet our need to gather together as friends and family.
We will continue Norkenzie Online for a while, but when we ‘ReOpen’ groups of up to 25 can gather from house to house to worship together in-person. This will be beautiful!
It may be a long time before 200 of us can gather together for worship on a Sunday morning, and it may be that we never return to ‘normal,’ but could it be that God is leading us to an expression of church that is better?
Maybe this is the beginning of a new normal where the church of Jesus is more effective in accomplishing the mission of Jesus in this culture. I think it is! May it be so!
If anything, I hope the current way of things doesn’t end too soon. God has our attention! The ‘extras’ of church have been stripped away and what remains is what’s essential. These are the things needed for our spiritual growth and the mission of Jesus in the world.
So May 2020 is a month to prepare. Let’s get ready for that moment when we can meet from House to House. Start now connecting with your group.
If you do not have a group, this is the opportunity and pathway ahead for you. This is what it will mean to be the church moving forward.
Let’s be excited about what God will do in and through us as the Body of Christ at Norkenzie. May He receive great glory through our lives lived for Him!