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Life is different today than it was one month ago, for every one of us. In our personal lives, business and in church, we’re having to make adjustments and changes in everything we once considered normal. None of us know what twists and turns life will take as we progress through these trying times. My guess is not everything will return to what we once knew as “normal.”

In a recent post, I stated that I believe the church is in the midst of a transformation. Personally, it is one that I believe has been coming and would have gradually come about over the next ten to fifteen years. However, with this current pandemic that timeline progression has been accelerated rapidly.

Churches that attempt to return to the former normal, will likely face greater difficulties than they experienced in past decades. I am not saying you cannot return to some of the former ways of ministry. However, we must with a discerning spirit, discover what God desires us to learn from this time of social upheaval.

Our economy may or may not bounce back. It will likely be a slow process. However, when a nation experiences such a social upheaval as we are experiencing, it’s not a bounce back, but an alteration that takes place. Some may be small, but alterations in the way we do life are to be expected.

Changes are taking place now. Churches and other organizations are changing to meet the demands of life under lock-down conditions. Yet, to exist in the coming years, more than these temporary changes will be required. Are you willing to lead your church in transformation? A transformation of pastors, leaders and members alike will be required. The future of your church depends on following God through this time of trial and not returning to church as usual.

A transformation requires a changing of the heart. We can change our thinking, but until we have a change of heart, our actions will fall short of even our thinking. Each year many people think about losing weight or getting in shape. Yet, their actions and habits never change. Habits do not change because we “think” or know they should change. Habits change only when our hearts change.

It’s true most churches have changed the way they conduct services and ministry while we are in lock-down. Many pastors and other leaders are chomping at the bit to get back to normal. Normal? What is normal?

Only God knows how short, how short have we fallen from God’s desire for His church, the bride of Christ, in the past fifty years. Could it be that God is allowing us to go through this trial to bring about the needed transformation of the bride of Christ and to draw man’s attention to Him? Are you praying for a true heart transformation?

What are you learning through this time of pandemic that will alter who you are and how you trust God and treat others?

How much time have you spent asking God to help you understand how to better serve Him following this time of pandemic?

To what level will you sincerely commit to allowing God to totally transform you for serving Him regardless of how different it may look?

My prayer is that God’s transformation in you is identifiable to others around you.

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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