By Bruce Chesser
President, Tennessee Baptist Convention
I want to encourage you today. This will pass. And God is on the throne and none of this caught Him by surprise. I believe deep in my heart that the prayer that many of us have shared for God to bring a great awakening to our land might very well be tied to this worldwide pandemic.
God is getting the attention of the entire world. And we need to be sharing His truth at every opportunity.
Just imagine what would happen if the gospel was shared as readily and easily as the coronavirus! What if a person who had been near someone who was saved was then thinking “what about me?” You know, that’s exactly how it happened in the New Testament.
How in the world was the entire known world at that time changed through a band of 12 disciples? It was because they were scattered (like the virus) and they multiplied (like the virus). There was exponential growth because as one person “caught” the Good News they, in turn, shared it with someone else, who then shared it with someone else. And, on and on it went.
I believe that we can use these days in being the hands and feet of Jesus. Love on your community. Find ways to stay connected. Use technology to reach your people with livestream, Facebook, Zoom or any of the other platforms that are available. And, of course, the TBMB stands ready to assist you in any of those endeavors.
Reassign your staff with responsibilities to call on all of your church members. Focus especially on the senior adults. If there is someone in your community that has no family member regularly check on them, let your church become the connection for that individual.
I remember in the movie “Apollo 13” when the explosion had rocked the plans of the team at NASA. They did not know what to do. It appeared that devastation would be the end result and that a disaster was about to unfold. Flight director Gene Kranz overhears two NASA directors discussing the low survival chances for the crippled spacecraft. One them says, “This could be the worst disaster NASA has ever experienced.
Flight director Kranz intervenes and says, “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour.”
Make this our finest hour. Let’s be the church. The church is not a building. It is people. Let’s be the hands and feet, and heart, of Jesus in our communities all across Tennessee.
I am praying for you! B&R — Chesser is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville.