Praise Community Church - A Response to COVID-19
Firstly, we wanted to ensure you all that we have been prayerfully and thoughtfully considering how to respond, carry on, preach, teach, affect our community, and minister to others during this time. We've not taken it lightly, we've constantly researched government guidelines, and sought counsel from our authorities. It's been tough with the constantly changing guidelines and differing reports to make finite, week-to-week decisions.
In terms of our original plan of starting late morning outdoor services on Easter, we've most recently tried to put ourselves in the shoes of you all, desiring to gather together and enjoy community, but at the same time being compelled to follow individual guidelines from our authorities about essential travel during our current state-wide stay at home order.
Although Praise Community Church is indeed a "life-sustaining organization," indeed meeting outside at a distance of six feet or more would technically comply with CDC standards, and indeed we would NOT be prohibited to meet as a church in this way, we've decided to postpone this idea through April 30th. We've arrived at this decision for a few reasons.
UNITY: It's critical that we're unified in this time when division is not just a temptation, it's a reality in many areas of our country and in the church. We cherish unity and don't want to compromise unity in this instance.
SUBMITTING TO OUR AUTHORITIES: We take Romans 13 seriously and we know we're obligated to submit to our authorities and honor them. Although the guidelines for meeting outside as a church body are unfortunately unclear, we're wanting to follow the order put in place by our Governor and our President to the best of our ability, with a clear conscience.
LOVING OTHER PEOPLE: The goal of our instruction is love, and when we think about others in light of the stay at home order, and the potential danger of the spread of this virus, we're not sure that love would call on others to take unnecessary and potentially dangerous risks.
As Adam & Brian discuss in the video embedded below, we're called in this time to both be aware, and NOT be alarmed, according to Matthew 24.
4 Jesus answered:“Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. MATTHEW 24:4-8
Don't turn inward
As we've said before, it would be tragic if we as Christians turned inward in this time when the world needs Christ-like people the most! Your life is not your own, every good and perfect gift was given to you by God, and the Spirit you have should be one of power and a sound mind.
Although it's easy to do right now, stay connected to the body through apps, phone calls, social media, or whatever means are necessary. You're an easy target for the enemy if you isolate.
Continue to meet needs & communicate your own needs
People have needs right now. Prayer, food, encouragement, a prophetic word, toilet paper. Meet these needs with joy! Continue to be generous and compassionate! If you have a need or you're struggling, communicate that need to us, your small group, your family, etc. Be transparent and honest.
Don't have opinions, have fruit
The world doesn't need an opinionated person right now, it needs one that produces good fruit. Bear that in mind as we navigate through this.
Never stop praying. Don't use this crisis as an excuse to shirk your prayer life. Get up. Seek Him. Know Him. Hear Him. Do what He tells you to do. Pray for the sick so that they would recover.
We love you guys!