What does it mean to be the church in the midst of a pandemic? How do we be the church when there’s not a church we can be? In our minds, particularly in the west, we often confuse people and place, or “ecclesia” (Greek) and “kirche” (German), when it comes to thinking about church.
As designed by Jesus in scripture, the church is a people, not a place. The people of God have two important missions: The Great Commission, to go and make disciples of all nations; and The Great Commandment, to love God and to love people. So, Jesus’ design for His church is to make disciples who love God and love others.
When we look throughout scripture, there is a pattern of both gathering and scattering. We gather to imbibe God’s word together, and we scatter for impact through our outreach. These aren’t competing elements; God uses both of these to build His church. And who knows? Maybe this current scattering is the beginning of an explosion of gospel progress and this is God’s way of pushing us out of the nest.