When our children were younger some were involved in Scouts. The Scouting motto stuck in my memory: To "Always be prepared". None of us know what the future may hold or what is just around the corner, so being prepared seems to be a wise approach to life.
I love being with positive and optimistic people. Its a helpful attitude to hold and a great outlook on life. At the same time we have to wise, prudent and realistic. With that in mind I want to suggest that we prepare as simple faith communities for tougher times in the future.
The Covid lockdowns were a wake call to how fast lockdowns and restrictions can be imposed on everyone. Declare a state of emergency it seems and all kinds of rights and freedoms can be suspended. On the positive side it’s time to prepare the church for when it can’t meet or have restrictions placed on meeting in “churches”. Many haven’t returned to "church" after Covid lockdowns. So it’s not really business as usual.
In fact this is a reality presently in many places around the world where gathering in church buildings is difficult, sometimes they are attacked or have restrictions imposed. So how do we prepare for what could be just around the corner?
Firstly the Spiritual Preparation of pressing into the Lord and seeking spiritual intimacy with Jesus - We need to be practising or learning to listen to God’s direction on a daily basis, and marching to the beat of a different drum - His drum! Intimacy with God is a joy and delight in any and every season of life. Now is the time to be doing this, not waiting until we are facing an emergency!
Secondly - who are we sharing the Gospel with and discipling? Are we passionately engaged in this kingdom work? Now is the time to take every opportunity, and to pray for more times when we can share Jesus with people we meet, especially those we love as family and friends. Pray for our hearts to be broken for those who are facing a Christless eternity.
Thirdly, to ask the Lord what does it mean to "Come out of Babylon" which is "fallen"? (Rev 18:2-4). What is this system economically, politically, spiritually, educationally etc? What values does it hold, that we need to reject? The Lord can guide using understanding this and what steps he wants us to take at this time and season.
Fourthly, Community. We need to develop a network of simple faith communities that gather in homes and other spaces. We also need each other for support, connection and fellowship. Let’s take the time to make sure we have this in place.
Finally - is it high time to be asking the Lord what practical preparation would be be appropriate and prudent?
These are days for preparation and these suggestions are challenging and inspiring. Im interested in your thoughts…