While these words were written in 2014, long before the current realities of what it looks like to be a local church in a COVID world, I believe that the truth is still the same today. As we face an uncertain future – as we always have, by the way – we have to come to a concious decision about what we believe the future of our church really is. Are we headed toward the end, with no hope in sight, or are we trusting that, even now, God is doing something new in our midst?
The answer to this path that is ahead of us cannot be answered by one person –– staff or not. Holding on to hope for the future, and having the imagination to aim for ‘the best’ of what our church can be, is a communal effort. We are in this journey together, and we must keep the hope together. When one of us doubts, the others have to hold them up. When one of us once to give up, the others have to remind them that the best is yet to be. We’re in this together, friends.
With each passing day we see the church having to figure out new ways to worship, serve, and live together. This can be a fearful road. We’re used to things how they were, how they’re comfortable. Yet, I’ll bet if we asked anyone who has journeyed here long if the BBC of today is the same as it was ten, twenty, or thirty years ago, they’d laugh. The nature of any organization is that it must grow as the world grows around it. This means that something stay and some things go.
As we move forward, together, what are your hopes for our church? What new thing has God placed on your heart and mind that we should be talking about? How can we love and serve Benson even better? How can we engage God more fully in worship? The list of questions ahead of us could go on forever…
No matter what is ahead, I don’t believe that Benson Baptist is anywhere near closing our doors. I know that God is already doing much in our midst that we’ve yet to fully see. The best days are still ahead of us, friends! I have strong hope in this fact! Will you join me in that hope?
Let’s make the hopeful road ahead by journeying it together.
(1) Mike Queen and Jayne Davis, Hopeful Imagination: Traditional Churches Finding God’s Way in a Changing World, Nurturing Faith Inc, 2014. x-xi.