Toward the end of last week, I took a day to pray and really dig into what God was saying for us here at St. John. As I sat on my couch, with a coffee in one hand and a plethora of books pulled off my bookshelf to dig into sitting on the coffee table, I heard the word ‘hybridability.’ I know that this is not an actual, accepted, word (at the moment), but it really sums up where, I believe, we are being called to go.
This week has seen the one-year anniversary of my installation, and what a year it has been. There have been many challenges, but there has also be joy in those challenges. Seeing God work in and through you all, and the grace that he has extended in helping us overcome difficulties that have arisen, has truly been a blessing.
It really doesn’t need to be said; however, naming where we find ourselves is important in helping to accept our current situation and discern where we go from here. The truth is we live in a very different world than that of year ago.
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The world is different. The way in which we react with each other, with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and more importantly with those outside of the Body, cannot be the same way it previously was. That being said, our primary call is the same: to go and make disciples that can make disciples.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a paradigm shift in the way in which people access and respond to Church. At St. John we have been moving away from a consumerist idea of church for some time now, but those who we are called to reach out to may still have some of that in their DNA – which is why we need to meet them where they are and help move them forward in their walk as followers of Christ That is what discipleship is after all. For our members it is less how we access church than how we be church. Church is not something we go to, sign into, or watch. We are Church, and we need to be responding together to what God is saying for us.
Hybridability sums up our need as Church to be accessible in both the home and the sanctuary. To create authentic Christian worship in person (which can be streamed into the home) but also to create additional teaching, processing, and discussion opportunities in both synchronous and asynchronous platforms.
As many of you will be aware, this month, we are entering into an intentional season of listening. Pastor Karen and I will be joined by some of St. John’s leaders to hear your thoughts during the upcoming connection times (see schedule below). Please consider joining us at one these. Come and share what is on your heart and mind. Together we will seek what God is saying to us about our future of hybridability.