We are entering into uncharted territories as a church. These are unusual but exciting times as we explore new ways to gather and be the church. Because of the escalation of the coronavirus, we have made the difficult decision to close our campus according to the CDC’s recommendations. However, we are prepared to gather together in new ways for the remaining Sundays in March. I love what Andy Stanley said recently: “The church isn’t closed, just our buildings are.”
I’m sure there are those who feel we should go against the recommendations of health officials and government agencies, I would like to point out that Romans 13:1 tells us to “be subject to the governing authorities.” At this time the entire American population is endeavoring to isolate in order to slow the spread of this virus. Because of that, we have decided as the church board and staff to not gather en masse at the request of our governing authorities. I believe that during these times, we can cherish the small gathering of believers because through the ages the body of Christ has never been dependent on a physical gathering space to define it. As Jesus said, “Where two or more gather in My name, I am there among you.”
Here is where you come in! Although we cannot meet en masse, we can still meet in one another’s homes. We can pray for one another, encourage one another, and worship God together. I’m encouraging every Magnolia member to join with other believers on Sunday mornings at 10AM. Yes, we are changing our service start time to 10AM for this season only. When we return to regularly attended services, we will return to our normal service times. During our time online, we will have a time of worship, prayer, and a sermon using Facebook Live on our Magnolia Church Facebook page. If you don’t have Facebook, DON’T FEAR! We will help you get to someone who does. We have several individuals who have agreed to open their homes to a limited number of people so they can come watch the worship and be encouraged by the message. Also, you are more than welcome to open your home and invite friends and family over to participate in that way. The big idea is to gather with other believers to receive God’s Word and stay united in heart. Take a moment to read Acts 2:42-47 and you’ll quickly find that we have become a 1st Century Church in the 21st Century! How powerful is that?!
We have provided two ways for you to be a part of our online service experience. The first way is to watch us on Facebook Live at 10AM. You can find us on Facebook by clicking HERE. If you can't catch us on Facebook, NEVER FEAR! Or you can watch right here on our website by clicking the MEDIA link. We will also have other moments of engagement with us throughout the week through our Facebook page. So bee sure to keep up with what's happening at Magnolia Church through our Facebook page.
These are unique and trying times, but I consider it an opportunity to strengthen our relationships and experience God’s presence in the reality of our lives and homes. I challenge you not to let this become a moment for you to disconnect from the church, but a time for you to draw close and lean in to what God is saying to His church. We are here for such a time as this. We will come through this and be stronger and better on the other side!