Two Temptations for the Post-Covid Church
After two years of the coronavirus, Christians are facing two temptations in relationship to the body of Christ.
You might experience one or even both of these tendancies in your own life. I call them “a failure of heart” and “a failure of nerve.”
A Failure of Heart
A failure of heart is to slowly become disconnected from the body of Christ.
The temptation here is to become isolated relationally and fail to lean into fellowship with other believers.
It is to assume that the last two years of relational disconnectedness that most people have felt should continue into the future. You need to resist this temptation for the good of your life and for the good of your spiritual health and for the good of the body of Christ.
You were not made to live the Christian life alone and apart from the body of Christ.
All of the Pauline commandments to grow and mature in Christ (Col. 1:28-29) and the Johannine commandments to love one another (1 John 4:7) assumes a vital relationship with the body of Christ. Don’t suffer from a failure to love and to be loved by your sisters and brothers in the faith!
A Failure of Nerve
Next, a failure of nerve is to slowly become convinced that the mission of the body of Christ is trivial, inconsequential, and unimportant.
The temptation here is to become cynical and fail to lean into the mission and vision of the body of Christ with other believers.
It is to assume that the body of Christ’s marginalization in the wider society means that the vision and mission of our church family no longer carries weight. The temptation is to assume that perhaps the state (politics) or secular culture (humanism) contains the greatest hope of the world.
You need to be reminded that our church has a sacred responsibility and a holy calling: to witness our hurting world, to disciple people in the truths of the gospel (in following the Great Commission), to gather for worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because Jesus is worthy (“Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing”…Hebrews 10:25)!
Don’t suffer from a failure of nerve: lean into worship, lean into serving, lean into generosity, lean into small groups, lean into mission with your church family!
God still longs to do great things through the body of Christ!
Jason A. Carter (Ph.D., The University of Edinburgh) is Lead Pastor of Trinity Wellsprings Church (Satellite Beach, FL), blogs at "Gospel-Centered Shepherding", and is the author of Inside the Whirlwind: The Book of Job through African Eyes. Previously, Jason spent 11+ years as a missionary-professor at a grassroots seminary in Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking country of Africa.
Podcast: "The Metaverse Church"
"Rediscover Church," reviewed by Louis Markos
"Satan’s Strategy #11: Stay in the Dark" by Robert Spinney
A Place to Belong: Learning to Love the Local Church by Megan Hill
What Happens When We Worship? by Jonathan Landry Cruse
 See Tod Bolsinger, Tempered Resilience, p. 13-30 who uses these terms but in the context of leadership.
This article originally appeared on the author's blog.