Businesses, schools, governmental entities, non-profits, and churches all around the world are attempting to chart a wise course forward given the challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our church is no exception. Day by day, we are reviewing the guidance of our governing authorities, seeking wise counsel from many advisors, learning from other large churches in Georgia and beyond, and exploring the range of possibilities that we should consider for our church.
Above all, we continue to ask the Lord for his wisdom. James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (ESV).
When all the factors are considered, we believe that it is wisest and best to continue our Ingleside worship services by livestream only at least through Sunday, June 7. As we get nearer that date, we will communicate about June 8 and beyond.
As we do contemplate when and how we return to campus, it will likely be best to do so in incremental fashion. Perhaps at first there will be worship services only with no classes, groups, choirs, or age-group programming. Then, as the weeks pass we will build back up to our full ministry menu.
However, we do now encourage Ingleside small groups and classes (middle school age and older) to consider meeting in-person at off-campus locations so long as social distancing can be maintained.
Of course, per the Governor’s order, we encourage those who are 65 years of age or older or who are at higher risk of severe illness to continue to shelter in place through June 12.
As always, I welcome your feedback and input to me or our other leaders as we make this journey together. Be assured, no one looks forward to our return to on-campus, in-person worship more than I do.
Until then, I am counting on you to prize and protect our unity, to worship weekly by livestream, to keep on connecting with one another by phone and videoconferencing, to meet with your small groups as appropriate, to love your neighbors, to give generously, to share the gospel eagerly, and to pray earnestly for our mission of making disciples for the glory of God.
I am confident that our sovereign God is working “all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11b, ESV) and that as we trust him and obey him, he will show us a wise way forward.
And, yes, I still believe that the best is yet to come!