I’ve been going to church for a long time. So when COVID-19 brought the world, and church as usual, to a grinding halt, I realized that I didn’t realize just how important it really was. Let me explain.
You see, unlike most everyone, I’ve been going to a church building even through the pandemic. When gatherings of more than 10 were forbidden, I still went. Not because I’m super spiritual, but because the mission of the church continues.
Sort of my job, right?
Despite perfect attendance, the time from March to June was really depleting because though I went to a church building, I was unable to meet with, connect to, and be with the body of Christ. Yes, I went to a building, but I was still mostly detached from the Body.
In June, we reopened the building and the Body was able to gather together with those who felt comfortable enough being together again. That helped. And three weeks ago, we began convening in the parking lot for adult class, worship, and even kids’ classes for Northside Outside. And we saw even more of each other. And that helped even more.
Being together is encouraging. And being apart is discouraging. I’m not sure why that is true exactly, but I know that it is absolutely true. The Word puts it like this: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
What I realized was that being together with my extended spiritual family encouraged me. Seeing my brothers and sisters in Christ that I had not seen in months was good for my soul. I’ve taken about 5,932 selfies with other people (I guess I should call them USies?) just to chronicle how good and pleasant it was to be with each other.
The Shepherds have decided to extend Northside Outside into October. How long? As long as weather permits. Obviously we don’t know exactly how long, but we do know Kansas weather won’t permit us to do this forever. Northside Outside will have to return to Northside Inside.
My guess is that after six months you and your family have adapted to life in the pandemic. You figured out how to travel, get groceries, go to school and work, see your family, and live your life. At some point you figured out how to adapt and live your life. May you also learn to adapt and continue to live out your spiritual life, too. If you and your family haven’t been able to be together with us yet and your health allows you to do so, I want to encourage you to join us for Northside Outside. It’ll be good for your soul, and it’ll be even better for the body of Christ!