The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy (English Standard Version):
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
Do the conditions of the last days that Paul describes to Timothy sound anything like conditions we are seeing and hearing about today?
2 Timothy 3:5 (King James Version) says, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” The big question is, do we as a church or as individuals have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof?
In times like these we need answers. Our churches are shrinking and have been for a while. Now, after having been deprived of our usual modes of worship for more than eight weeks what do we most long to recapture as we begin meeting again? Is it the traditional order of worship, singing of hymns, responsive readings, printing of bulletins, organ music, lighting of candles, feet washing, fellowship, prayer time, pulpit preaching, communion with bread and wine, or just meeting together in a sacred building?
If the church was not growing before the COVID-19 shutdown, how much of what was traditional is essential to a growing church in the future. Should we continue just as we were before? Maybe its time to change our thinking about some of the traditional things we do.