10 Positive Steps for Every Christian in this Time of Testing

Praying over the world

Author: Pastor Mike Warman

Our world has rapidly entered a new season with the arrival of Coronavirus – but it is a season that will not last forever! Change is all around us but the good news is that the church (which is God working in and through the lives of believers) doesn’t change. The way we meet might change but the church itself doesn’t change.

I can see God already working in people’s lives and I can see the church getting stronger and stronger, and increasing during this season. So, I wanted to just give you some encouragement where you can take action or things that you could consider in this time of testing.

1. Exercise Faith

You have been called and chosen to live by faith – faith in the goodness of God and in the ability of God. I encourage you to pray and don’t worry, to have peace and not panic.

Focus not on the bad reports, but focus and instil confidence in people in the great things that God is doing in and through the church. Scripture says, we walk by faith and not by sight.

2. Comply

It’s not that hard do the things that your leaders and the authorities in this nation are asking us to do. If you’ve contracted the virus or you have virus like symptoms or been in contact with someone with the virus, go and see a doctor and whatever protocols they tell you to follow, follow them. We need to be diligent and do what’s requested, practice great hygiene, don’t put others at risk. Please be extra cautious during this time.

Searching for online church

3. Consider the Needs of Others

I’m not impressed when I see people running around saying, “I don’t care about the virus” and “I won’t get sick” and “Christians should have more faith”. We shouldn’t do anything that causes other people to be anxious. Even if we have high levels of faith and high levels of revelation in what God can do when we feel confident, we shouldn’t do anything to cause other people whose faith is different to ours to stumble or be concerned. Paul is very clear about this in scripture that those who are strong should bear with those who are weak. And so please be considerate of people whose faith is at a different level to yours.

4. Be Flexible

The things we’re being asked to do as a nation change day by day, hour by hour, meeting restrictions, closures, limiting your food, purchasing, changing of opening hours and times. Even the church has to be flexible – meeting sizes are changing, spaces are changing, places are changing and the allowances that we need to make, they will all change.

Can we eat together? Can we worship together? Will we be allowed to connect in homes? All of these things we’re not sure about what our fellowship together is going to look like. So, I encourage you to be flexible. Scripture says “do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. It says, each day has enough trouble of its own”

5. Practice Social Distancing, But Be Closer Than Ever Before

We’ve been asked to practice social distancing. But that doesn’t mean isolation if you have to have a distance between people. For this season we are committed and determined to make sure that Christians work harder than ever before to be closer than ever before.

Now is not a time for isolation. Now is a time to text people, to call people, to message people, to check up on how people are, to visit people where safe, to drop in on people, to find out how we can pray for people and how we can serve others during this time. Scripture says, “do unto others as you would desire that they would do unto you”.

People panic buying toilet paper
Photo credit: Zorro Stock Images / Shutterstock.com

6. Be Prepared

We need to be prepared. DO NOT panic buy, but stock up a little to make sure you have everything that you do need. If there are closures or quarantine periods that go on for a few days or a week, make sure you have all your medications.

Make sure you have credit on your phone. Make sure you have a little bit of food – enough to get you through a little time and all the household items that you need. Make sure that if you can’t get something that you ask your family or your friends or your connect group or your connect leader or even ring the church and they can assist you. Don’t panic and don’t be overly consumed about what you don’t have.

7. Give

Now is not the time to stop giving. As a matter of fact, giving is more important now than ever before. If you’re tithing, continue to tithe and if you’re tithing online, continue to do that. If you’re not tithing, now is a great day to start tithing.

Giving and tithing has always been an important part of God’s plan and that has never changed. There is over 2,200 verses in the Bible on money, on wealth, on possessions, and on generosity. And it’s important to God. It always has been and remains today. So, keep your giving strong during this time.

8. Be Excited

This is an opportunity for some really good changes in our church community – to be more obedient to God, and more alert. We can be better connected, more hospitable and sharing one to one at new levels. It’s a great time to be excited and be proactive about the church.

People have been ringing me and emailing me and inboxing me, sharing ideas about how we can meet, how we can grow each other’s lives, how we can strengthen the life of our church, how we can reach out and how we can be more effective. So, I’m excited that people are excited about the future and church life more than ever before. Scripture encourages us to rejoice even during difficulties and during suffering.

9. Join a Small Group

I’m not prophesying anything, but I’m expecting there could be even greater restrictions than what we face now. And the answer to meeting, to continuing to serve the purposes of God is going to be connecting in homes.

If you’re part of a small group already, stay in that group. These are places where we can have communion together, worship together, anoint one other with oil together, pray together, share one other’s burdens, encourage one another, and solve problems.

10. Remember That You Are Loved and Set Your Course to Stay Connected

Set your course right now that you and your family will not drop out of church community and church life over the next week, month or extended period. Set your course right now. Determine right now that you are going to make sure you keep building your own faith, the faith of your friends and family and that you are going to stay connected to your church.

Scripture says, “you are the light of the world”. Don’t go missing. Scripture says, “you are the city on a Hill”. Stay visible, be connected with your church family. Scripture says you are salt and light. Keep being the person that helps others, that changes circumstances and situations. Do not get isolated. The enemy to our faith and to our churches wants us to drop out. If scripture recommended dropping out, I’d recommend it, but scripture does not recommend dropping out.

As a matter of fact, it recommends that we hold on. Hebrews 10:24-25 says this: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching”.

I really want to encourage you during this season, not to go missing, not to be overly concerned. Be proactive. Get connected and join in with others wherever there is opportunity. No matter what is going on around us, you can be connected and God can do a great work. He can change the landscape of our churches and set us up and make us stronger. God has a plan to turn this around and make this an amazing time in the life of the church.

About the Author – Mike Warman

Mike Warman

Mike Warman is the Senior Pastor of Parklands Christian Church in Queensland.

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