I know that thought has had to cross the minds of so many people after The Lake began the Re-opening this past Sunday. I know my mind was constantly trying to process how things would go with all the preparations beforehand and the Training Sessions for our Volunteers serving in Lake Kids and Guest Services; even during the entire morning with two Worship Gatherings as people arrived and were leaving, and then later that afternoon; asking myself over and over, “How’d it go? Did people feel welcomed when they arrived? Were we able to help them find seats together with their family? Were they able to worship as they have done before? Was there more we could have done to prepare? Did it feel as exciting as the last time they were at The Lake?”
So many questions going through my mind, and I know that has to be some of the questions people want answered; not only about Worship Gatherings at The Lake, but in every church that is beginning to Re-open to In-person services. And, if the only question I have is “How’d it go?” I’d say it went extremely well at The Lake. I’d say things went so well, I’m getting a little more excited about what this Sunday may look like at The Lake.
All our Volunteers serving this past Sunday were outstanding in making sure everyone felt welcome, and that they were willing to do anything to accommodate them; opening the doors on-time; helping with seating; cleaning and disinfecting behind everyone to prepare for another Worship Gathering to follow. These Volunteers were ready to serve others and it was so evident. The Lake is blessed with folks living out Jesus’ command to serve one another.
Now, another obvious question people may want to ask is, “Was it normal? Because, I really don’t like things to change. Will Sundays at The Lake be like they’ve always been?” Probably not. And, I say that in an encouraging way, because sometimes normalcy can become complacency. So, this virus we are dealing with; these “social distancing” guidelines and mandates we are maneuvering through to open our doors; to do our best to protect and care for one another, has pushed “normal” to the side and replaced it with “intentional.” We can no longer take worshipping together for granted; as something we “normally” do on Sunday morning. Our Worship Gatherings will be “intentional”; intentionally doing all we can to focus on worshipping God for who He is and what He has done for us; not so much a “cookie-cutter” time to be in church together; sitting in this particular seat, on this side of the Auditorium, so many rows back, but a time and place to come together in Worship. And, not just to worship by singing, but to experience the full abundance of a life of worship in how we greet one another, how we care for one another, how we love one another, how we pray for one another, how we speak to one another; how we give and how we serve. And, that may change every Sunday. So, to answer the obvious… “When will The Lake be back to normal?”… the better question to ask is… “What does God expect of His church?” Because, as we have been learning these past few weeks… Plans change.
What do we do when plans change? We seek God and His will for us, not our will for Him.
So, “How’d it go?” It went great!