When The Church Stood Still

William Thomas

Was anyone else excited for the start of 2020? It was supposed to be a call to action, a new decade to conquer and then… everything stopped. For me this was on March 9th. We got a call from the school where we were meeting at the time, and we were told that they were shutting down any extra programs held at the school. The church stood still. Over what we thought would only be the next few weeks until we got back on schedule, things turned into a global pandemic. It was there that I realized for the first time in my memory that the church had to stay still.

The more quarantine went on I found more questions than answers about the church. Are we really about what we say we are about? We are called to be “The Church” but have we gotten it confused with the actual building? Are we maximizing the season that the Lord has placed before us? All of these are deafening questions, but the most important thing will always be our response.

 

COVID-19

All of these questions brought me to Ecclesiastes. During this time, I was looking for contentment in what we were doing and not in Who we were doing it for. That was the missing link. COVID brought everything to a standstill. The church in terms of a building was closed and every worship leader I spoke to was faced with the same issues, “How do we respond and lead in a pandemic?”

I took some time to reflect, but in that moment the word perspective came to the forefront. Everything we as worship leaders address comes from the perspective we see it from. The more we shift our perspective to that of God’s, the more He will reveal. Through revelation, we see what the Father is doing in our city. What was and is before us is a perspective worth being excited about. We will never get the opportunity again to worship the Father like we have the opportunity right now.

Heaven will not look like this. Racial tension is tearing a country apart that has the literal word “united” in its name. A global pandemic has shifted the way we interact. Empathy is often missing for those who are marginalized or who are hurting. All these things have come to surface in 2020. The great news, which should not be a secret, is that Heaven won’t be divided! Heaven will not be selfish. Heaven will not have any sickness or death. It will be all of God’s children doing forever what we were created for, and that is to worship Him. So now looking at what this year has become my excitement and my drive to see what God is doing here in South Florida is heightened to a level that is so reassuring. We get to practice and teach here on earth what we will get to do in Heaven forever… worship Him.

 

Our Response

Our response is worship. Worship is something we can choose or something we can neglect in a time of uncertainty. We in turn have the opportunity not only to lead our congregations but also teach them what it means to worship the Father. What a concept! We will never again have the opportunity to worship God like we do right now. I have seen many get discouraged over quarantine because what they had planned did not come to fruition. I believe this is a season that God is not wasting. It is a time of revealing! What if God is doing a new thing but we needed to stop in order to see it?

 

Future Hope

About a year ago, I got the opportunity to write a song with Gabriel Velez and Alyssa Smith at a Village Hymns Create entitled Future Hope. When we wrote it, we did not realize that 2 Corinthians 4 would become our response to a future world altering event. The song says that we will look and set our eyes on Him and we will find hope even in the silence. What our response is as a Body will be more important than anything we try to do. Our future hope is found in the One we choose to worship, and we will never get a chance to worship like this again.

 

William Thomas is Worship Director at City Lift Church. You can hear the worship song Future Hope at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fuKD0pMGfg  If you’re a worship leader interested in getting involved with Village Hymns, please email [email protected] or visit our website at villagehymns.com/get-involved.

 

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