These are uncertain days that need to be approached with an equal level of faith and wisdom. Our hope and prayer is that we do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and that we continue to engage our responsibilities as a church. First of all, It is not to our belief that this is a form of religious persecution; however, the enemy would also love to use this as a means to silence the Church, which we cannot let happen.
One Biblical issue that we have addressed as a board is our responsibility as Christians to “submit to authority.” There are several verses where Scripture outlines God’s desire for His people to submit to the governing body of the land. Some of those passages of Scripture include: Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 3:1-3; and, 1 Peter 2:13-17. Because it is Scripturally appropriate, it is our belief that we should honor the Trump administration’s recommendation to limit our gatherings to ten or less people.
It is our belief that the Lord is shaking up the Church and calling His people into right action. As Pastor Jon preached from Acts 11, sometimes the Lord will use, or allow, drastic situations and crises to push His Church into action. Could it be that the Lord is trying to break our routine? It may very well be that the Lord is trying to awaken the lost, and awaken the Church during this crisis. And we know, that whatever God’s intentions may be, that they are for His glory, and for our good.
We have a responsibility to protect the flock; therefore, as it relates to the growing threat of the coronavirus, we as a congregation are going to err on the side of caution. However, as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are motivated to take immediate, intentional action.
That being said, it is our belief that the Church has a prime opportunity laid before us to minister to the lost, the needy, the scared, and the vulnerable in these uncertain times. The outlined plan is something that we believe is pleasing to God, and we hope that you all will follow us as we seek more than ever to “be the Church,” to be a light, and to let our light shine like never before, for the glory of our Great God.
The Plan *Effective IMMEDIATELY - March 31st*
Worship Services: Regular services (Sunday School, Sunday am, pm, and Wednesday pm) will be modified until further notice.
Changes to Service Times and Structures:
Our church will be opened Monday through Thursday at designated times during each day. These times will be opened to our members, and the general public. Pastor Jon will lead in prayer, devotions, counseling, and encouragement in 15-20 minute segments. These gatherings will be limited to groups of 10, and there will be volunteers in place to direct those who come. Please note the following guidelines:
- DO NOT COME if you are showing any symptoms of ANY sickness (especially coughing and sneezing.
- DO NOT COME if you are potentially more vulnerable to sickness, or in any way suffer from a weak immune system.
- Wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer often.
- If you come, wear a mask if you have one available.
- We will practice “social distancing” during these gatherings.
- Do not shake hands, hug, kiss, or engage in any other form of physical contact with those who are attending.
Monday - 11:30am - 1:00pm
Tuesday - 11:30am - 1:00pm
Wednesday - 5:00pm-6:30pm
Thursday - 11:30am-1:00pm
- Pastor Jon and Pastor Hubert will be streaming a live sermon at 11:00am on Sunday morning. This will be streamed on FaceBook live on Pastor Jon’s personal page and also on Chester Church of the Nazarene’s page.
We are intentionally mobilizing specific outreach teams that will serve our congregation and the community. These teams will engage in outreach Monday through Thursday.
Caring for our flock - Our stewards, and others, will be responsible for contacting our elderly, or anyone with a need in our church. We will make it a priority to reach out to our own, and take care of those in our congregation. Nobody should be neglected. Contact Jutanna Love or Linda Fairfax if you would like to volunteer to serve in caring for our flock.
Teens and Children - Pastor Hubert will head up a team that will GO OUT and minister to teens, children and their families. Teens and children that are connected with our church and van ministry will take priority. This will include sharing the Gospel with families, prayer, and seeking to meet their needs. Contact Hubert Jayakumar if you would like to volunteer to serve in ministering to our teens and children.
Street Evangelism - Pastor Jon will head up a team that will GO OUT into our community and share the Gospel with the lost. This will include street preaching, prayer, and one on one street ministry. Contact Pastor Jon if you would like to volunteer in street evangelism.
God could very well be using this crisis to send a great revival, and it is more important now than ever before that we, as God’s people, as the Church of Jesus Christ, unite. The rubber has met the road, and it is time that we be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” God is trying to change our hearts and our perspectives by reminding us that the Church is not a building, it is a people - we are Christians (little Christs) and we minister in the name of the King of kings, and Lord of lords - the One who holds the keys of hell and of death. We are not devoted to forms and structures, we are devoted to the person Jesus Christ. So, while the rest of the world is backed into a corner, not knowing what to do in the midst of the chaos, may we be the ones that show them that our God still reigns, and that He is still mighty to save.
Grace and Blessings,
Chester First Church of the Nazarene
Leadership Team (Board)