Because of the lockdown restrictions and public health precautions we are still unable to gather as church. However that doesn’t mean that the church has stopped functioning or existing, because We Are Church.
The church is the people – even when the people are scattered. In fact there are plenty of examples through history where the church becoming forcibly scattered went hand in hand with a significant move of God (see Acts 8 for one example).
Author Alan Scott (see note 1) suggests that the next move of God is not a move in the church, but a move of the church. Imagine every believer not simply being a volunteer in their local church (though that is admirable), but coming alive in His presence and bring life to every environment they find themselves in!
At Countess Free Church it is our goal to encourage and equip as far as we can every believer so that they have a rich spiritual life (the ‘UP’ component), they learn to embrace and know God’s presence among them (the ‘IN’ component), and they spill a contagious hope into wherever they are (the ‘OUT’ component). This is what we are about as a church: a church in mission across the city.
Every Christ-follower can seek God, praise and pray – even in the isolation of their own home. We can actively encourage believers to meet if they can, albeit in very small gatherings. And we can encourage each and every one to be open to the God given opportunities to share the hope that we have in Christ – even in the ‘bump into’ conversation moments that can happen anywhere across the city. All this makes us a church that is not simply craving gatherings once again, but learning to be sons and daughters of the King of Kings, discovering how to move with Him as He moves among us.
Currently as a whole church we do meet via zoom on certain Sundays. Yet the greater move of God is more likely to be found through us scattered across the city!
Note 1: The book ‘Scattered Servants’ by Alan Scott is recommended reading