I see it everywhere. Pastors feel unequipped for leading a church during a global pandemic. The very nature of the ministry entails gathering people in church buildings. Well, it used to. Here are some helpful insights for pastors trying to navigate the new online church experience from Brady Shearer of Pro Church Tools!
Hello! If you are at a point in your life where you'd like to learn more about what it means to be a Christ-follower, here are the first 5 basic ideas that you need to know right now:
1. Recognize that God pursues you with unconditional love and offers you eternal salvation.
His love includes you. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
He has new life for you. "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10a).
God wishes that no one would be eternally lost and separated from him.
2. Admit that sin separates you from God and others.
"Sin" is walking our own way in rebellion against God's will. When we walk away from God, we walk away from life.
Everyone has sinned. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Sin brings death. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a).
Our own efforts cannot save us. As sinners we futilely try to find life's true meaning in the wrong ways and places. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again for our sins.
Jesus Christ died in our place. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
He is the way to new life. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
He gives inner peace. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
He gives freedom. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).
He gives eternal life. "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23b).
4. Repent and ask God for forgiveness.
Confess your sins to God. "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy." (Proverbs 28:13).
• To be truly sorry for your sins which are hurting you and others.
• To stop sinning willfully when you know it's wrong
Forgiveness is promised. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
5. Place your trust in Christ and receive Him as your Savior.
Christ is ready to unite himself with you. "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me" (Revelation 3:20).
You can receive Jesus Christ now. "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God" (John 1:12).
Make your decision known. "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
If you are ready make this big decision, then pray like this:
"Lord Jesus, I want to have life. I know that I have sinned. I need Your forgiveness and pardon. I believe that You died and rose again for my sins. I now accept You as my personal Savior. I will forsake my sinful life. I know that Your grace and power will make me a new person and enable me to live for You. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and for giving me a new life. Amen."
For help in living a meaningful life in Christ
• Be assured of Christ's forgiveness and your new life!
• Read your Bible and pray consistently.
• Find a group of other Christians to connect with.
• Regularly help other people or places in need.
• Share your faith with others whose faith is weak.