Update • June 10th
Hey B4 family, friends,
I hope this finds you well. I'm going to try to keep this efficient because there are a couple of exciting things I want to share with you. Before I do, I want to share something else I was reminded of yesterday. As I was reading about the miracles of Jesus, I noticed that there was a pattern to the moments when Jesus was healing people. Over and over again when Jesus was about to heal somebody, the Scriptures say he was moved by compassion. Jesus moved towards hurting people with compassion. Before He began to heal them or restore them or renew them or redeem them, He was moved by His compassion for them. Compassion is a sense of empathy that we experience when we see another person in need or in pain. Our heart sort of breaks for them.
Human compassion is interesting but divine compassion goes beyond our comprehension into places only love dare go. When Jesus had compassion, when He was moving towards another person, He sees beyond what's happening in front of Him, beyond the person that's in front of Him. From His divine perspective, Jesus sees the potential for wholeness. He sees the renewed person with all of the potential that they carry in their bones. When Jesus is moved by compassion, He moves through the places of brokenness. Knowing that there is great potential on the other side, He moves through to a place where He brings healing and life.
As a follower of Jesus and as your pastor, I want to encourage you. During this season, we are coming face-to-face with human brokenness on so many levels. The natural human response is to sort of deny it, to push it away, or not want to face it. That is very common in our culture but I truly believe like Jesus, you and I need to have the heart of the Father. We need to move past the broken moments, with all of their difficulty and awkwardness and move towards the other. We need to be instruments of God's healing. We need His Spirit to prompt us. I could never imagine Jesus facing a situation like the one we find ourselves in today and Him responding with anger or frustration. He wouldn’t be defensive, and as those who have been called to follow Him, we must lean in and deliver God’s healing and hope. I want to encourage you and ask that you would be that kind of person right now, a person moved with compassion toward the brokenness of others.
Last week, I mentioned watch parties. I asked you to start thinking about inviting people to join you for online services in groups of 25 or smaller. Obviously, we only want you to invite people you feel comfortable within your home and only as many as you’re responsibly able to accommodate in your home. The idea is really simple, basic, and grassroots; What if we just encouraged folks to begin gathering around the Sunday online service, share some open dialogue, and maybe even pray together. That would allow us to spend some time connecting and in community. We need that right now. And it doesn't have to be a Sunday. It can be anytime during the week, whenever it works for you, friends, family, or neighbors. We want to begin experiencing community again, and begin establishing some structure as we moved back towards gathering in person on our campus.
We've been working on a strategy for that reopening. Once the governor announces that Washington county is in Phase 2, we’ll begin a gap week when we’ll set up systems and communicate with all of you exactly how we’ll re-open. The next two weeks after that will be a soft launch. We’ll record the weekend service with a live group of people. They’ll be our staff members, their families, council members, and their families. If they’re willing and it’s safe for them to do so, they’ll help us work through the practical logistics and the strategies of creating a safe environment for everybody.
In the fourth week of Phase 2, we will be opening up new services that will allow you to come and worship together on campus. We can only have 250 people at a time, so we're going to ask you to register online before you attend to ensure safe numbers and comply with contact trace requirements. We'll continue to create a great immersive online experience for those unable to attend in person. We’re also increasing capacity by bringing Thursday nights back. For those of you that have been a part of B4 for years, you know that Thursday night was a staple of what we did around here. We're going to bring it back with a little twist. Thursday is going to be the first of our weekend services, with the same worship and message that we’ll share on Sundays. It creates an alternative for folks in our community who work the weekends to be a part of what's happening at B4.
I hope that encourages you in this season. That's my heart. Just this week, I woke up in the middle of the night and I have been moved to pray endlessly for you and for our church and for our community. I invite you to join me and continue to pray for people's healing, the healing of bodies, and the healing of hearts. Pray for reconciliation among people who are far apart right now. Pray for the day in which we can see each other again. I wanna be able to give you guys hugs. I want to shake hands. I want to smile and see you smile back. I just can't wait for that day to be here together again. Until then, I love you guys and I'll see you soon.