二○二○年六月十九日／二十日／二十一日 Click here for English version
Environment and Mindset: Ministry Reflections amid the Pandemic
Rev Wayne Cheung
In the past almost half a year, the impact of the coronavirus on the world due to the speed and coverage of its spread is unprecedented. Many respects of life are deeply affected. Many nations or regions, economies and livelihoods, communities and individuals have come to a standstill. Church meetings and ministries were no exception and had to be suspended.
A healthy church is a living organism. It is also a spiritual community in active ministry. Church members know they have different roles in their works of service, that building up the body of Christ is their mission, and they are to mature to attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13). The pandemic also presents a good opportunity for us to learn how to adapt and do what we can, to renew our mindset, slow down, gauge the situation and reflect on how we are doing in church ministries.
In good, stable times, the church has a lot of resources for shepherding. Various ministries are created. Once started, however, ministries seldom come to an end. Many have even continued year after year without evaluating their effectiveness. Although the pandemic has stopped in-church meetings, it also provides room for ministry leaders to reflect on which ministry should be retained and which ones can really be withdrawn or changed. The church should not be just a service provider of religious programs. It should also take the initiative to examine what sort of shepherding believers need and how ministry leaders should adjust their ministry mindset in the changing environment.
There are two classic verses about ministry in the Bible. Romans 12:1 points to "a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" while Hebrews 12:28 says we should "worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." These verses define the quality and mentality of those who serve and state that our ministry should focus on the worship of God. In the midst of the pandemic, let us reflect perhaps not on whether we have participated in certain ministries or activities under the limelight, but on whether we have revered the loving God and followed in His steps in good times and bad.
Years ago in a class for ministry leaders, I mentioned the principle of three "s": Servant, Shepherd and Steward. However the times may change, and however different the physical environment may be from what it used to be, believers should humbly serve the Lord and build up each other. They should care for the people around them and shepherd one another. Where circumstances do not permit, scrap the details and simply practice loving care and watching out for each other. Finally, all who serve are stewards of the Lord. They know well that some day they will have to give an account to God and that they should faithfully serve according to what is entrusted to them, with reverence and towards the betterment of themselves.