Same Message… New Method

Esperanza Morphis

Heartland Missions Representative

The year 2020 has seen its fair share of major historic events in a little over three months. However, even in the midst of the world being changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our God has not changed.

The church learned that it could alter the method and still feel it's calling. In reading the life of Nehemiah and watching how he owned the response of his generation, I realized that ownership is the key to leadership. Although many do not agree with the quarantine regime and city lockdowns, I am grateful our district took a stand and yielded to what state officials mandated as a solution to flatten the curve of this unknown and dangerous virus. In other words, we took ownership to submit and yield and received the grace to lead and navigate uncharted waters; pivoting and moving from public church gatherings to small virtual groups that created a new way to voice the same message of the Gospel. As a result, we have found that depending on virtual moments can lead to life-changing alterations.

A pivot is an axis upon which something turns.

In basketball, it is when a player keeps one foot fixed while rotating the other foot to change their position to pass or shoot. In business, it is when a company recognizes that it must shift its revenue strategy—meaning what once worked is no longer working.

In the Body of Christ, we refer pivotal times to seasons of significant change and transformation. The church has been amazing as it has pivoted so quickly several times since we have been quarantined. The time of quarantine has been catalyzed by new understanding, new information, and new perspectives. The waves of change and transition result in different (and usually better) expressions of what faith and ministry can look like in our spheres of influence. Our Christian faith appears to have moved toward simplicity rather than complexity, with a keener focus upon Jesus. Through the power of social media, we have learned that the Gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

As we move forward through 2020, we will see more clearly that a pandemic cannot alter the message of God’s word. Our methods may change, but the message from Him never will.

If you are reading this, you have learned how to thrive in something you cannot control. Whether we have felt it or not, faith has formularized when we did not know what to say as we kept moving forward. Psalm 4:1 (AMPC) reads “…You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress.” Although the psalmist was “hemmed in” the Lord enlarged him. Although we are quarantined, in the wisdom of God, He is able to enlarge our internal world, physical world and our impact to world we are called to serve! In this trial of suffering, we must remain courageous since our hope rests in Jesus. 

All throughout the Bible, we read about travel restrictions, the lack of finances, and prevalent illnesses. Through it all, the mandate has not been transformed, the mission has not been canceled, and the Gospel has not been bound. The King and His kingdom are the same yesterday, today and forever; therefore, missionaries and our mission must not be forgotten!

As we move forward through 2020, here are four ways we can still be faithful to fulfill the Great Commission:

1. PRAY: Pray for your community, your country, and FMI missionaries that are stationed throughout the nations. Visit foursquaremissions.org to discover who our FMI missionaries are and where they are serving. Pray for those who have been impacted by COVID-19 and for a cure to this virus.

2. PREPARE: Use your free time to take online classes, listen to podcasts, and read books to help keep your ministry sharp. When we recover from this, we must be ready to show compassion and proclaim the greatness of God. Check out LIFE Pacific University to begin or complete your degree.

3. PROCLAIM: Take opportunities to meet those around you or in other nations through the power of Zoom or social media. Trauma is the number one mission field in the 21st century. People come to Christ during times of trouble or transition. What greater time than now to share your story or revelation on the goodness of Christ? Does your city hold monthly community meetings? If so, jump on their video call and get involved. Connect with your ministry and venture into new ways to open up your Facebook live or media videos to offer fresh and new voices to those you are leading.

4. SEND: Romans 10:15 reads, “… And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” Senders support with finances and prayers; senders are heroes! There are 2000 languages longing for a verse of scripture in their own language. Those that live across the world in rural, marginalized places are seen by God. They are made in His image and are being called into a relationship with Jesus. When was the last time your ministry sent someone into the mission field? When is the last time YOU have gone into the mission field? Contact Esperanza Morphis (emorphis@foursquare.org) to find ways to do either or both!

Remember, our methods may change… but the message never will. LET’S GO!
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