Dear Church,

I’ve got great news, and I’ve got good news.

The great news is we’re moving back into the LSC this Sunday!
The good news is we’re doing it without people. That’s right, we’re going to be online only the next two Sundays.

I know there’s already mixed reactions. Before you email me, please take a moment to read how we got here.

First, we’re Spirit-led in all the decisions we make. The Lord was leading us in this direction last week with the rise in cases in our area, along with the pause in reopening efforts. I prayed, our trustees prayed, spoke with other pastors, and sought the Scriptures for confirmation. This is what the Lord has for us during this short season.

We also considered the worship experience within the guidelines of our current restrictions and determined we can provide you with a better worship experience in your living room than in-person. Mandatory masks, no kids ministry, six feet of distance, and no congregating before and after doesn’t sound near as engaged as stretchy pants, not having to breathe your own bad breath, and enjoying a cup of coffee while you worship.

The health and safety of our team, volunteers, and church body is also a top priority for us. With the rise in cases and more people we know personally testing positive, putting team members and volunteers in the position of having to choose between serving the church or protecting the health of their family was a very difficult dilemma. We felt led to make the decision for them and go online for a couple weeks.

Lastly, with seating and capacity restrictions, the majority of our church has remained online. This move allows us to reallocate more of our efforts to reaching our entire church online and expanding our reach to people who aren’t in a position to join us in-person. While in-person gatherings represented 25% of our church, they took up 90% of our capacity to execute. With this move, we’ll be able to reach 100% of our church and beyond with the same effort.

I want to be clear: this isn’t a step “back.” We’re not in stay-at-home orders. We’re not without our building. This is a step into a new season of embracing the mission God has placed before us with our best efforts, in an attempt to reach as many people as possible.

This is also not a permanent shift. We believe in physical presence. But there’s not much physical presence when we’re all masked and unable to communicate with each other, sitting six feet apart. We’ll evaluate every two weeks and as soon as we feel led to have in-person gatherings again, rest assured we will!

Our new online experience from the LSC will be at 10:30am, live in real-time. We’ll worship together, pray together, and hear from God together. The experience will be on both Facebook and YouTube LIVE.

I want you to know how honored I am to be your pastor. I love you all and have been so blessed by your faithfulness. This has been one of the most difficult seasons many of us have ever had to walk through, yet you have stuck with us, embraced the change, and championed the mission God has given us throughout. I believe the Lord is pleased with you, and He’s pleased with our church. Our best days are ahead. Let’s stay on mission. This virus will end. This season will be over. But the impact we have during this time will last for eternity. Let’s rally, let’s invite, and let’s see God move!

I truly can’t wait to see all of you on Sunday!

Luke Cunningham