By Paul Fries
DOM, Salem Baptist Association, Liberty
“In profound appreciation of the Boll Weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity, this monument was erected by the citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama.”
The back story to this monument is the arrival of the boll weevil from Mexico in 1915. In just a few short years farmers were losing their entire crop of cotton to the boll weevil. An area businessman saw this as an opportunity and convinced a local farmer to convert his farm to peanut farming. The first year this paid off the farmers debts and ultimately led to great prosperity to the Enterprise area farmers. Today, if you travel to the Enterprise area you will see large fields of both cotton and peanuts. It took a disaster to cause the farmers to change and to diversify.
This begs the question, is it possible that God is attempting to get His people and His church to make some changes through our current COVID-19 pandemic? I recently read an article, speaking about our churches, that said, “If our churches look in December 2020 like we did in January 2020 we have failed.” Most of us don’t like change. In my opinion, the single most prominent reason we see so many churches having to close is the inability or unwillingness to change.
The Bible is replete with examples of God bringing pandemics, floods, other natural disasters upon His people to change their direction. I believe we would do well to quit looking at media, politicians, and others to place blame and instead let us begin to look to God and ask, “How do you want me/us to change?”
Had the good people of Enterprise, Ala., rejected a businessman’s suggestion to diversify they might not exist today or they could be another small town that is slowly drying up. If we, the people of God, are not willing to look inward and seek the face of God asking how we might change we too could see churches closing and our effectiveness continue to diminish.
I have been a Christ follower for over 40 years now and I have often heard the statement, “The message never changes, but the methods must change.” We are in a crisis in our country and we, the people of God, have the only hope for a nation. We have the gospel/the Good News of Jesus Christ!
The question is, are our current methods getting the gospel to the people that need it the most. In days past this was done through churches in homes, brush arbors, revival meetings, etc. Methods changed as culture changed but the ultimate purpose was always to get the gospel to those who need to hear it. How will we do that today? B&R