I love everything about the space program.
I am fascinated by the technology necessary to propel a person or even an object into space. The teamwork and networking necessary to launch 140,000 lbs. into orbit, and keep it there, are not lost on me. But the minutiae, math, and details are overwhelming to me. The bravery of those men and women who are willing to strap themselves to a rocket, built by the lowest bidder, and be hurdled into space is impressive. I am intrigued by all the planets, solar systems, and unknown aspects of our universe and am always quick to enjoy the latest pictures from deep space. And while many are looking for ways to explain away the very existence of God and exchange the truth of His creation for a lie, I am amazed by God’s eternal power and divine nature as revealed in all His creation.
Apollo XIII is one of NASA’s greatest triumphs. NASA safely returned three men to earth. Sure, many had been sent into space prior, and all had been returned safely. As difficult as it is to launch a person into space, it is more difficult to get them back safely.
Just over one month has passed since we were ordered to “Stay at Home.” At first, we were concerned about how this would impact HarvestDowntown, but our staff is comprised of some of the most creative people and they lead teams that are equally gifted. We have seen some incredible intentionality to continue, and even launch new ministries during this season. We have learned so much about streaming live events – and all the difficulty this entails. We have launched HarvestDowntown into virtual reality with live-streamed services, Compass Group Zoom meetings, a VirtualPerspectives Art Show, virtual prayer meetings, and so much more. Our church community has been amazing during this as we have mostly succeeded, and sometimes failed.
Your grace and understanding as we have navigated the pitfalls of launching into live-streaming have been wonderful. It takes far more energy, innovation, creativity, management, personnel, and time to produce AND stream a live event. Sure, we could pre-record everything, and have multiple takes on the music, DNA moment, HarvestKids, and sermon, but that would go against our high value for gathering together and authenticity. We could also spend thousands of dollars on sound and video equipment that would afford us the opportunity to compress the audio and video before streaming it over the internet – but is that the best way to create access to the whole gospel of who Jesus is? At this time, we have decided against launching into this; we fear that it will change us into a production or an event-based church instead of the authentic community of Christ that we are.
Now we are preparing for re-entry into physical community. This could present any number of new pitfalls to our church. No, I don’t think we will burn up on re-entry, but we need to practice basic principles of Biblical community as we enter back into physical proximity. Incidentally, these are principles that should ALWAYS guide our life together!
Look to the interests of others
Consider others better than yourself
Don’t impose your personal convictions on others
Don’t flaunt your personal freedoms or mock the convictions of others
Don’t put the LORD your God to the test
Seek consistent, Christian community
In the near future, we will be sending out our schedule of re-entry into physical community. There will be many steps to this process, and we ask that you continue to pray for us as we navigate various executive orders, recommendations, and common-sense. We are desperately seeking wisdom from God, who promises to give wisdom to anyone who asks. We also recognize that we will need to adjust our plan – but if we acknowledge Him in all our plans, He promises to direct our steps.