With the onslaught of massive persecution within the Roman Empire, the church in Jerusalem had to scatter throughout the region (Acts 8:1). They had no choice. They had to start doing “church” differently.
And so do we!
But based on what the Holy Spirit has been doing in our midst the last few weeks, I believe our church family is poised for revival. Our situation made me think of The Great Awakening (a massive spiritual revival in England and the U.S. in the 1730’s and 1740’s). The believers of the day wrestled with how to disassociate themselves with the “established” religion. Or, we might say, the usual way to do church.
Of course, we recognize that revival is the work of the Spirit. But as the movement caught hold, there were key distinctives that fueled that incredible spiritual revival. The first, and I believe the primary characteristic, was prayer. Individuals recognized the power of their own personal prayer and the corporate prayer of the church. It was the foundation for revival.
Leadership was another key ingredient for the Great Awakening, and how blessed we are to have church leaders who genuinely carry the burdens of their people. Biblical doctrine kept the movement going in the right direction. People stayed glued to their Bibles for instruction and encouragement.
There was an emphasis on music and personal testimonies as people lived out the gospel and shared how it impacted them. And they took action. Much of the social action efforts of our modern society find their roots right in the middle of the Great Awakening. People started to reach out and care in a tangible way.
And so should we!
We too have been scattered for a purpose. Our “stay at home” mindsets and our new way of doing church will definitely give us time to focus on our relationship with the Lord. (No more excuses for missing devotional time!) It will give us time to connect in a deeper way with our own family. And it will allow us an easy entrance into the lives of our friends and neighbors.
It is time to put feet to the Gospel. Reach out and offer to run some errands for a senior or a single mom stuck inside. Text a buddy with some encouragement. Make a few calls every day and check in on the vulnerable. People of all ages are frightened. It is time to point them to Jesus as we help carry their load.
We may be scattered, but we have a purpose!
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.