A Message to our TCASC family:
March 17, 2020
The elders and staff at The Church at Shelby Crossings have been wrestling with our church’s continued response to the COVID-19 virus, and with the new CDC guidelines and local recommendations we have decided to cancel our public worship services for at least the next two Sundays, March 22 and 29. We do not do so out of fear, but out of consideration for others, so we can do our part in limiting exposure and hopefully slowing this thing down before it spreads much further.
We will provide a worship service for you and your family that will be streamed online, on Facebook Live, at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday. You can find it on our Shelby Crossings Facebook page here. Thanks to all those who participated last Sunday, and for your positive feedback and encouraging words. We encourage you to plan to gather your family each Sunday morning and participate in the service together, and to invite your unchurched friends to join along as well.
There will be no adult or youth Life Groups on those Sundays, and no children’s or preschool activities either. And, as you probably already know, our youth group and W3 children’s ministry, which usually meet on Wednesday nights, have also been cancelled for the next two Wednesdays (March 18 and 25). As for whether your home-based Small Groups meets, that will be up to each individual group to decide. Either way, we hope you all will keep up with one another, and keep being the church where you are.
This is uncharted water for us, as a church and as a nation, and we would ask that you be patient with us as we make these decisions week to week. There’s really no script for this kind of thing. It is certainly an opportunity for us to think differently, and biblically, about how “church the way it was meant to be” is supposed to operate. One thing is for certain, in this season God is helping His people redefine “church.” Or really, to define it the way He defined it in His word 2,000 years ago.
We have been emphasizing for some time–and especially in our recent study through the book of Acts– that the church is not a building, nor is it just something we do on Sunday mornings. The Lord has been stirring us “for such a time as this,” and preparing us to finally “get” the organic New Testament model for church life. But in reality, we weren’t ready to turn over any tables to live it out. Now it appears He is turning those tables over for us, shaking us, pushing us out of our comfort zones, and setting us up to act like our original DNA, doing authentic Biblical ministry that stretches us beyond our Sunday morning routines.
He has already provided us a template for doing church, and advancing the gospel in our community, from the book of Acts.
Make no mistake, the church has a long history of not running from trouble, but running toward it. Not avoiding those who are sick, but ministering to them, often at great risk. Read how the church responded to the plagues of the past—even the “Black Death,” which was so much more severe than this; or the great influenza epidemic which killed tens of millions around the world a hundred years ago. Or even how a Mother Teresa ministered in India to the sick and the hurting, even the lepers. And speaking of lepers, remember how Jesus went where others wouldn’t to touch them and heal them? THAT is who we follow. And it has little to do with whether we gather together in a big room on Sundays.
So how does God want to use us? How does He want to change us? How does He want us to lead our church, to serve our community? How does He want us to pray? Those are my questions for us. This is a time for us to think outside the box, to stretch ourselves some, to think creatively and selflessly and practically as to how we can serve others in this time of crisis. May He be honored in His church, wherever we are, in these weeks ahead.
Please join us in continuing to pray for God’s protection in this pandemic, His direction for the decisions that are still in front of us in the coming weeks, and for opportunities and divine appointments to serve in His name and further the gospel in our community.