Working in the mess
by Scott Statson
FENTON, MI – God is working, no matter how chaotic His plans might seem to us. He is rescuing His people out of the darkness of slavery and drawing them into a life of freedom. That’s exactly what we set out to discover as we began a new series through the Exodus this past March. Just a few weeks in and we’d come to learn how easy those words were to say, and how difficult it would be to live by them.
Like many churches, we were shut down for a season and forced to rethink everything. The world changed overnight, and ministry would never be the same again. We began asking questions to prepare for this new reality. How would we develop relationships in a time that mandated distancing? What would our protocol be for opening our gatherings? Our groups? What would it look like to be the church without meeting in a building that looked like a church? We questioned, planned, & adapted. Yet, things seemed to change almost every day. Like Moses, in Exodus chapter 2, we found we were too quick to take matters into our own hands instead of trusting that God’s plan was better.
Weeks turned into months. We longed for the day when we could just be with the saints again. As a newer church plant, we’d only been together for a year & a half, but we were anxiously anticipating the day when we could be together again. Finally, that day came. It seemed as if our days of slavery were over. (Okay, not literally, but that’s how good it felt to be with our church again!) We were set free: delivered out of quarantine, across the sea, and into freedom! By the grace of God, in June we made the decision to gather again. We thought our days of difficulty were over, but we had no idea what was waiting for us on the other side.
Regathering the church brought its fair share of unique challenges. Masks & social distancing seemed to be the new normal. Though we were together again, as the church, it was anything but normal. Many chose to stay home and join our weekly gatherings live online. Some used this as an opportunity to wander away for good. Others rose to the occasion and began getting serious in their pursuit of Jesus. We were in a wilderness, and God was using this time to expose His people.
Even in the chaos, God was at work. Slowly the views racked up. Those views turned into phone calls, and pretty soon we were building relationships with people in our community who we had not known. In these past few weeks, we’ve seen people rededicate their lives to Christ, and we’ve watched as some have even made the decision to follow Jesus for the very first time. God was drawing people towards Himself and He was using a pandemic to do it!
This year has been nothing short of crazy. But one thing’s for certain: God’s plan is good. It might seem like chaos, but He is in control. The world’s a mess, but God is working behind the scenes of it all. Trust Him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scott Statson is the Lead Pastor of The Way Church. Prior to planting The Way Church, Scott held various positions in ministry in several churches throughout Michigan & Nebraska. Scott & Amanda reside in Fenton, MI with their two beautiful daughters.