Senior Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Pondering can be read here, as seen in the printed church bulletin weekly.
What Will You Take With You?by Duane Mabee on September 12, 2020
I have heard people say, “They are trying to kill the church through the pandemic restrictions”. I’m not going to address the veracity of that statement or debate the politics surrounding it. My purpose here is quite different.
Let’s say it is true. If they were successful, are you prepared to thrive spiritually in an environment where church as we know it no longer exists? Many believers around the world are thriving spiritually in places where the visible Christian Church has been destroyed. Could we?
I just finished reading The Insanity of God by Nic Ripken. It talks about how believers around the world not only survive persecution but develop a faith that is more vibrant and alive than anything we know here. Nic interviewed thousands of persecuted believers. His purpose was to learn everything he could to help prepare others to survive and thrive.
One thing he learned is that you can only grow in persecution what you take into persecution with you. If you have been lax about your spiritual growth prior to persecution, you will have no tools to further your spiritual life in it. Nic divided a large gathering of teens who had come through grueling persecution into small groups and asked them to write out as much Scripture as they could from memory, not using any helps. Each group successfully reproduced all four of the Gospels from memory with near 100% accuracy. They didn’t learn that in persecution. They took that into persecution with them and it helped them thrive.
If everything we are familiar with regarding the church were successfully stripped away from us, how many tools would we have to help us continue to grow and deepen in our faith?
By the way, I highly recommend the book.