“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
(2 Timothy 1:7)
By now you should know all that is going on in our community, in our nation, and around the world. For the time being, schools around the world are closing down, the economy has taken a dive, the medical community is on high alert, and our neighbors have a mixture of questions, skepticism, and fears as it pertains to this global pandemic we now know as the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Just a couple hours ago before writing this, our president declared a “national emergency.”
Also, just this week, the school we gather in made the responsible decision to suspend all facility use to outside organizations, including King’s Cross Church.
It’s important to remember during times like these that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46)—whether physical, spiritual, financial, relational. This is crucial to remember as the Coronavirus outbreak is unfolding. To be clear, God is not surprised by any of this. He is not caught off guard. And Jesus is no less on His throne today than He has been.
As a church, we want to respond with Spirit-driven caution rather than people-driven fear. Since our Lord is a refuge to us, we in turn desire to be a church that is a safe refuge to others. I have personally been on the phone and in video conference calls with pastors, leaders, and medical professionals to determine what is the most appropriate posture to have and what is our best course of action for continued faithfulness as a church and continued witness to our community.
In seeking to be wise, careful, loving, and discerning, here is our current plan (what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and what your role is in all this)
WHAT WE’RE DOING
suspending our physical gatherings for a few weeks.
In light of the recommendations from our governing authorities, and in coordination with many churches in our community and around the nation, much prayer and seeking counsel, we made a prayerful decision to suspend our Sunday Gatherings for at least the next few weeks out of love for our neighbors. In a few weeks, we will re-evaluate.
We want to do everything possible to be responsible, wise, and loving to our community, and we are convinced that suspending our physical gatherings falls in step with this biblical desire. While the gathering of the body of Christ is vital for the church community, we also desire to care well for one another and our neighbors. As we continue to monitor the progress of the pandemic, we will keep the King’s Cross family updated on our plans moving forward.
Hosting a virtual gathering on Sundays.
The leadership team and I are going to host some kind of virtual gathering on Sunday morning at 10:00AM. While this is not a substitute for the weekly assembling of the church that we see in the Scriptures, we want to lean into this providential hindrance of our gathering and use innovative ways to stay connected to one another and faithful to Christ as we wrestle through this. Check our social media (King’s Cross Church OC on Facebook and @kxchurchoc on Instagram) and our website (http://kx.church) for details to be posted soon.
Launching a Care & Response Team.
As the situation surrounding the virus continues to escalate, we will be looking for opportunities to serve our church members and our community. If you have any needs (physical or spiritual) please let us know. We reached out to our local community to see if anyone (particularly the elderly and other high risk persons) need any help or assistance during this time. To be clear, these decisions have not arisen out of fear, but out of love for our neighbor. If you are interested in serving on this team, email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also download this “love your neighbor” flyer and pass out to all your neighbors.
WHY WE ARE DOING it
We have not made this decision lightly.
1. Not following the national and state guidelines to suspend public gatherings puts the vulnerable in danger.
Public health experts say people who are at higher risk of illness including:
- those over 60
- anyone who has underlying health conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, chronic liver disease, blood disorders
- those with weakened immune systems
- those pregnant should remain at home as much as possible.
In our small church plant alone we have several people who fall into these high risk categories. For more information, check out the websites for the Center of Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health.
2. Not following guidelines is a bad witness to the watching world.
Many businesses and organizations around the nation and the world are doing everything they can to limit social contact for this brief period of time in order to slow the pandemic and protect the most vulnerable. As followers of Jesus, we of all people should be at the frontlines of protecting those who are most vulnerable. We want to be leaders worth emulating, leading the way at protecting our neighbors and community.
3. Not suspending gatherings creates an unfair expectation of attendance on church members during this season.
To be clear, we still believe the regular gathering of Jesus’ people to sing, pray, and sit under God’s Word is an essential means of grace in a Christian’s life. After all, the word for church in Greek literally means “assembly, or congregation.” However, these are unique times and with the threat of this pandemic around—a providential hindrance—we would not want to impose this on anyone vulnerable among us.
4. The practical nature of being a mobile church that meets in a school.
Again, in addition to the above, we also have no choice but to suspend our physical gathering because our meeting space (and all other public meeting spaces) are currently off limits.
WHAT WE ARE ASKING FROM YOU
Times like this draw the world’s attention to the fragility of life (James 4:14). It reminds us of our weakness and need for a Savior (2 Cor 12:9). It reminds us that our lives and sure hope are found in Christ the Lord. Therefore, with these truths hidden in our hearts, we pray to our Lord for ourselves, for each other, and for the world. Pray for wisdom, healing, treatment, safety, and provisions.
Continue your normal Sunday rhythms
Sunday is still the Lord’s Day, and our Lord is still worthy of worship. Wake up with your family on Sundays ready to worship Jesus through our virtual options. In unique times like this, we understand it is not disobedience to the collective gathering of the church commanded in Hebrews 10:24-25. At the same time, we want to find creative and innovative ways to stay connected to one another and faithful to Christ as we wait for further updates related to COVID-19.
For those with children, we will provide devotional tips and resources to help you disciple your kids through this season.
Stay connected in community
This is a great time to leverage technology to stay connected with your home group and the community. We will be posting more frequently on social media and through email in order to stay more connected, in the word, and on mission together as a church family. So stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram.
With the suspension of our physical gathering, our giving may go down while our financial needs may increase. If King’s Cross Church is your church home, please pray about giving online and setting up recurring giving to help us continue on the mission of Jesus of growing our church and serving our community.
Remember, Jesus is on the throne
The Coronavirus is no threat to the King and his kingdom. His purposes are always good and will always prevail.
It’s often times of crisis and confusion that people are looking for redemption and hope. History tells us that God often uses awkward or difficult seasons like this to strengthen His church and increase our witness to a world desperate for real and lasting hope.
As we move forward, our goal is to love God and love our neighbors. Rest assured, these two commitments will always inform our decisions and direct our path as a church.
Let’s find comfort in these words from the apostle: “this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). We put all of our trust in Jesus and pray that He would use us individually and as a church to shine His light of hope in this world full of darkness.
That mission continues. For the glory of God and the good of others, let’s press on!