Our world, our nation, our communities, and our church…we all find ourselves in new territory…beyond the map…off the beaten path. We’ve never been in a situation quite like this before. It’s an uncertain and ambiguous time for leadership, parenting, medicine, business, finance, education…every facet of life. It’s human nature to “huddle” together in times of uncertainty. Historically, in catastrophic moments like war or like the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, we were drawn to be together. We want to connect. We want community. We finally realize our deep need for each other.
Research has shown that in nearly every significant moment of national uncertainty…whether it was the Great Depression or the more recent Great Recession or in times of war or after 9/11, attendance to church and attendance to movie theaters rises dramatically. Why? People go to the movies in times of crisis to escape the harshness of reality. People go to church to find refuge and connect with the eternal, something that transcends the fragile present.
The current extremes with this pandemic are panic or denial. It’s hard to find someone with a sensible balance. On the one hand, panic has sent our financial markets into chaos and has many people hoarding staple goods like it’s the end of the world. On the other hand, some are shrugging their shoulders, as if this is not a significant event and basically ignoring simple precautions that would greatly limit the spread of the virus.
One of the core values of Northplace Church is “balance.” In a world full of extremes, our trust in the Sovereign hand of God enables us to live centered, balanced lives, even in the face of situations like we find ourselves in today. Living without fear and approaching moments like these with an unshakable trust in God says more about Him to the “watching world” than 10,000 sermons. If our faith isn’t strong enough to sustain us with hope in moments like these, can it be a legitimate faith?
We started the year with a series about leadership. Much of what is happening in our world right now is “reactionship.” But God has called his people to offer hope-filled leadership and be a stabilizing force when the ground seems to be giving way.