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During the past few weeks, your state missionaries have been contacting pastors and other church leaders across Alabama to offer prayer support, to listen to testimonies of joy and of challenge, and to continue discovering ways that your State Board of Missions can serve the Lord by serving Alabama Baptists.

Local church leaders have been called on to do Kingdom ministry in fresh, new ways that have stretched the imagination and creativity of each of us. We are coming to expect the unexpected as we resolve to continue the Lord’s work during a time of quarantine and of sheltering in place.

Time and time again, I and other state missionaries have heard pastors — all concerned and many deeply burdened — ponder the question of when churches will once again be allowed to gather in person as the Body of Christ.

It’s a question that likewise burdens my mind and weighs heavily upon my heart. I continue to listen each day for some declaration from public officials regarding this very concern.

I have appointed a task force of state missionaries and other Alabama Baptist leaders that is actively working on recommendations for local churches about how to get ready to reopen and how to do so once the so-called “new normal” arrives.

We welcome your input, thoughts and concerns on these matters. State Missionary Keith Hinson will be the contact person for any pastor or other Alabama Baptist who is willing to pose questions, suggest best practices and offer other ideas for “reopening the local church.” He will be collating and compiling these responses as a valued resource for the task force.

We all know, of course, that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ never has closed and never will. Even when churches don’t meet in person, we are still the church — the Body of Christ — and are commanded to be on mission for Him regardless of circumstances.

Very soon, the task force will release these recommendations as a resource for Alabama Baptists to consider as each church continues in its congregational autonomy and stewardship of all God has entrusted to them.

To send questions or concerns to the task force, please email Keith Hinson at khinson@alsbom.org. If there are other ways that your State Board of Missions can serve you and your Alabama Baptist congregation, please contact any of the state missionaries listed at https://alsbom.org/staff. Click on any photo for email and contact phone numbers. As always, we are available to Alabama Baptists via phone calls and email.

Please pray for us as we pray for you. We are thankful for your faithfulness in the Great Commission and are grateful for the gifts of Alabama Baptists through the Cooperative Program during almost 100 years of CP history. May Southern Baptists and Alabama Baptists continue to exemplify missional faithfulness and Gospel proclamation in God’s world today.

The post Preparing for What’s Next appeared first on RickLance.com.

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