Have you ever had a broken relationship or friendship you wished could be reconciled? God speaks to reconciliation in 2 Samuel 14:14, where His word tells us, “Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But this is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.” Wow! What an amazing way to articulate our need for reconciliation, and God’s yearning for it.
Examining the context of 2 Samuel 14:14 reminds us that David’s son Absalom had recently run away from home after killing his half brother Ammon. While David was upset with Absalom for killing Ammon, he longed to be reconciled with him and have him back as his son. He had already lost one son, being disconnected from his other son was only exasperating his grief. That’s why David’s right-hand man Joab sent a woman from Tekoa to share God’s desire for reconciliation with him. Convinced of God’s desire for reconciliation David invited Absalom back home, so they could be a family again (even if it was only for a few years).
Does God still devise ways to bring people back to him? We think he does. We think he’s working through his church to reconcile the world back to himself. If he was willing to give his son to a world that would reject him and crucify him, we think he’s honored when his church takes risks and devise ways to bring more people back into the family of God.
As we look towards the future and think about how we can lead effective ministries in a post-covid world, I wonder how many churches will continue to adapt to new norms and how many will revert back to what feels normal for them, what they’ve always done?
What about you? Is the way you’ll lead your church to make disciples be any different now than it was two years ago? Will you go back to doing church the way you’re comfortable with, the way you’ve always done it before? Or will devise new ways to reach people who are far from God? Will you continue to invest your time and energy into all the same initiatives, programs, rituals and routines you’ve grown comfortable with, or will you blaze a new path into the future to reach your community with the gospel like never before?
Covid-19 has given many churches the opportunity to start again and relaunch with a new focus and strategy. The good news of God’s reconciliation through Jesus is the same. That’ll never change, but how we share that good news with others will. Are you partnering with God to devise ways to help people come back home or stubbornly wishing things could be different and just go back to the way they used to be?
Is it time to refocus your ministry efforts? Is it time to let some ministries die, so you can dedicate more of your time and energy toward initiatives that will accelerate your church’s capacity to reach your community for Christ? To help you think outside the box and devise ways to bring people back to God, we’ve filled May’s newsletter with ideas and resources that will challenge, encourage, and inspire you to lead courageously into the future. Enjoy!