- Other Apps
If this season of compromised health has not made you reflect on the fragility of life then you might not be human. If this season of non-congregation has made you rethink about church and made you realize how fragile your spiritual life is then you’re definitely human.
Whether you view yourself as a periodic church attender, a regular member or even a pastor, this season has likely blurred your idea of “church”. This is not a bad thing. A lot of clarity can come out of reflection and uncertain times.
A great outcome of this pandemic would be for the church to repent (to turn around) and refocus merely on this: that the mission was never for us to merely add members to the church but rather the church merely exists to keep its members on the mission.
Here’s a test if you want to check yourself on whether or not you’re on mission: when the “life doors” reopen and you discover the new normal, as you go back to your greater church congregations, are you merely celebrating that you’re back together or are you able to acknowledge that being apart has proved that you fully understand the mission? The non-congregation can test and should affirm the fact that you’re on mission and never make you feel like you’re off mission. With God’s sovereignty his mission can never die but either you’re on it or you’re not.
If you’re lost on this, go back and take a deeper look at the life of Jesus; particularly his influence on the first 300 years of the church. Study “The Acts of the Apostles” (actions of the church) to early church history, all taking action in the midst of persecution. Let me clarify that COVID-19 is not persecution but it can be similar to the fact that the persecution of the early church led to the dispersion of its members and the furthering of the mission.
God will always redeem difficult time and hard stories to invite lost mere mortals back to the mission.
I want to implore you in this time, that as the doors to all of your places reopen, do not go back to the old and familiar. Don’t go back to congregating for the sake of congregation. That is not the purpose or the mission of the church.
This season of separation may have blurred the sacred and the secular for you. It was meant to do that. Blurring for the sake of ultimate clarity. As you return to the new normal, do not separate what you used to define as the sacred and the secular but go and meet everyone everywhere all the time for the sake of the mission.
So, do you understand the mission? Are you and the ones you would normally congregate with on mission?
If you’re not sure, then be the one to start the discussion within your group.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
How has this season affected ministry (Tazama Nia, Nairobi, Kenya) on the ground?
Just like everyone, the pandemic affected how we do ministry. It forced us to shift from development work and our normal programs into relief mode. Our staff and regular members became relief workers. We sensitized the community on the virus, taught sanitation and encouraged good hand washing habits, focused on prevention and distribution of face-masks and now focusing on food security and distribution for the most vulnerable. We’ve reached and sensitized a village of over 100,000 people, regularly visiting 600 households and fed over 4,000 vulnerable people.
Yet, the most profound outcome of this season is that it has given us a great opportunity to be the “hands and feet of Jesus”. We stopped attending our usual Sunday services but as the local church it gave us a common mission. We’ve been on it everyday since the start of the pandemic. It has bound us, our Tazama Nia team together. It has deepened our desire to follow Jesus and called others on the fringes to do the same. We have felt that we’ve never lost a step as a community of Jesus followers, loving our neighbors and being the church. We’ve called each other back to the basics of what it means to be the church and to participate in the work of the Kingdom of God. It has been a deeply profound season of ministry and understanding the purpose of the church and it’s mission. All of this is discipleship - the mission on purpose of the church.
If you would like to know more about who we are and how we go about doing this, you can contact us through email or following us on social media. #tazama_nia #thecirclestory email@example.com