Last night our Church had its annual congregational meeting. To prepare for it, I review all the numbers from last year along with the monthly reports I give to my board. Looking into the statistics and information led me to divide everything into “Pre-Covid” and “Post-Covid.” This led me to the realization that one year ago, this week was when the world changed. Our Church had regular worship until the third Sunday of March, and then we went into lockdown for 12 weeks.
It is incredible all the things that can change in 12 months. We lost about 100 people who attended our worship programs twice a month or more. When we started meeting again, we added about 50 people in the months that followed. After one year, our congregation looks completely different.
Not only have people changed, but ministries have ceased because of restrictions, new roles have been assumed, and adjustments are made monthly. Like most, we have been utilizing technology in new ways while trying to keep the best of the old ways of doing things. We have experimented with techniques and methods to find what works best with our people in our area to be fully devoted Christians.
I could spend several pages detailing all the changes from the past year, but most of us are far too familiar with them. No, I want to take a minute and mention the one thing I love about my job and being a believer. Nothing in God’s word has changed – not one tiny little thing. One of the promises to those who study that Bible is that the grass will wither, and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord will stand forever (1 Peter 1:24-25). Not only that, but the Jesus who is revealed in the scriptures is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Our faith’s core has not changed in the slightest, even though Covid has altered his people’s methods and procedures.
The coming year will bring more changes as we implement the vaccine, and some things will become the “new normal.” There will be frustrations and failures alongside successes as we move into an unknown future. The good news is our Bible and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be the same and can guide us into whatever the next 52 weeks hold, just like they did last year.