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Response - May 22nd

Response - May 22nd

by on May 22, 2020

Hey B4 Friends and Family, 

I want to just take a moment right now to talk about the statement from President Trump that you may have already heard about. He stated that the church is essential and he's asking the governors of all 50 states to allow us to gather again. First of all, let me just say that I appreciate the president agreeing with what we've been saying all along. We believe the church is essential, which is actually one of the reasons we’ve worked tirelessly to provide you with the best online and in-house experience that you could possibly have. I just want to commend our team here at B4 and say that they have had to utilize skills, tools, and resources that we didn't have prior to Covid-19. They've stepped up in amazing ways to make sure that you can continue to gather in your home or wherever you choose to participate in our worship services. 

The reason that our public services are closed is not simply because of a Governor's order. Governor Brown has been very accommodating and very communicative with the faith community. Myself, with other area pastors, have signed an agreement together to partner and work the best we can with our public authorities. But our auditorium presents a very unique challenge: we have a 1500-seat auditorium. Understanding how to open up the church in that environment in these conditions is a very complicated thing. And one of the things that I've learned as a leader over the last three decades is that the more complicated the situation is, the more time needs to be taken coming up with solutions. I've known people in this process that have gotten Covid-19. We’ve had staff members, family members, and friends who contracted this illness. I don't want anybody to experience this and I want to ensure that they remain healthy.

Is the physical gathering of the church important? Of course it is! I believe in it wholeheartedly. Is the online experience a substitute? It is, though it might be a poor substitute. But physical care of people is something we also think about here in the church. So we are weighing the conditions and weighing the solutions. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, our staff has been having conversations. Just a couple of days ago, sitting right here in this space, I had a meeting to talk about the specific requirements that we would have to follow in order to gather publicly. We are coming up with some creative ideas, some ways that maybe you can physically interact with the facility here. Maybe come in for some times of prayer or even communion during the week. We are doing our best to think of ways that we can continue to be the Church. 

I also want to remind you that nothing can stop us from being the Church. We may not be able to gather physically the way we're used to, but nothing stops the church from gathering.  That's what history has shown us. So, whether it is in your home or your office or you watch from the front seat of your car, it doesn't matter. You get to be the Church no matter where you are in this world. We don't just get our authority from governments; we also get our authority from God. That's why we lean into Scripture, we are listening and leaning into His Holy Spirit leading us, we lean into the collective group of Elders and leaders around here as a church. And together we're helping shape our plan for the future. 

I just want to encourage you and remind you that we want to be humble, not proud. We want to be patient and thoughtful, not haphazard at this time and I just invite you to join us in this. I have been praying and I'm going to continue to pray and fast and consider when it is that we should be gathering, and how we should gather together. We'll keep you updated as that happens, and this weekend you can expect a great online experience once again. We're going to provide that for you. 

Also, I just want to tell you about a survey coming out that we were working on this week.  We would like to understand your needs better and also what our needs will be moving forward. We want to be prepared to be the best church we could possibly be in the days ahead, so please be looking for that. I love you guys, and am so grateful for you. Have an amazing, amazing rest of your day today.  We’ll see you later.

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