Last March, this Kentucky fan could not believe his eyes when he saw the headlines that the SEC and NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled because of some sickness called the Coronavirus. My dreams of watching the Wildcats go on another Final Four run were gone just like that. I honestly could not wrap my mind around the fact that a virus was causing us to cancel events. I mean, viruses have been around forever! Fast forward to January 2021 and my bewilderment is laughable in hindsight. There was much more going on than a canceled basketball tournament.
Raise your hand if you had any personal plans canceled by the Coronavirus in 2020. Now that we all have our hands raised we can agree that we need to start planning differently moving forward. Agility is the key with anything we think through now. Rigid plans have a distinct possibility of failing more than ever. We have to be willing and able to change on the fly.
So what does that mean for us in ministry? How do we make future ministry plans when the future feels so uncertain? Do we just take things week-by-week forever? Of course not. We need to determine which parts of our lives and ministries are non-negotiables and resolve to move forward with those plans regardless of circumstances. Fortunately, the God we serve saw COVID-19 coming and gave us a mission and vision that transcends anything else happening on Earth: The Great Commission.
You know it well already, but Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (CSB)
Evangelism and discipleship do not stop because of a global pandemic, we just have to be even more creative and intentional about doing them. Specifically, in 2021 I hope you will resolve to lead a few men or women in a discipleship group that meets diligently no matter what. Resolve in 2021 that you will lead your group to use whatever means necessary to be consistent in your meeting rhythm. Let them know from the beginning that if there is a time where public meeting places are shut down again you will meet virtually. We have myriad resources to do this now so we really do not have an excuse anymore. And isn’t your spiritual health and maturity worth it?
Resolve in 2021 to bind yourself to the unchanging Word of God. Study Scripture. Journal your thoughts. Memorize it. Not much is certain right now, cling to the One who has been certain, is certain and will be certain.
Resolve in 2021 not to let social distancing excuse you from evangelism. Lead your discipleship groups to start thinking about and praying for the people they need to share Christ with right from the start and don’t let each other off the hook! I’m sure you have other goals and resolutions you’ve made in various areas of life as we begin a new calendar. In fact, I hope you do and I hope you achieve all of them! As you think through all you hope to accomplish this year, make sure you’ve got plans and resolutions for 2021 that could only be stopped by Jesus Himself showing up! Resolve in 2021 to make the Great
Commission your greatest resolution.
By Dylan Young. Used with permission.