MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (November 16, 2020)

We certainly live in crazy times, don’t we? Last year, very few people outside the business world had even heard of “Zoom,” and NO-ONE imagined that there would be such a need for virtual attendance of worship services! And while I am thankful for the virtual options for worship, one of my great fears – and the great fears of most pastors – is that, when the COVID-19 threat is passed (or at least neutralized though a vaccine or other medical technology), many church members will have become complacent with the current state of public worship and will not return to in-person worship services.

I wanted to share this writing by Elder Buddy Abernathy, published on a Facebook page that he manages back in April 2020. It contains a summation of the fears and an admonition to all of us not to get used to the way we are doing it now, because “virtual worship” is NOT the Biblical pattern! It is certainly understandable and even necessary for us to use this technology for the time being, but let’s don’t get too comfortable with it! I want to see everyone back in church when this pandemic is over!

Please note the “warning” by Bro. Buddy, which I have included in BOLD font below! And may we all be blessed to come back to the in-person services as soon as possible.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer!

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor

*NOTE: I have modified Bro. Buddy’s writing in the way of updating it for our current practices. Updates are bracketed, and are in my own words.


by Elder Buddy Abernathy (April 2020)

During this time of “social distancing”, we need to consider the words of John Wesley:”There is no such thing as a solitary Christian.”

We should be thankful for the technologies, such as Zoom and Facebook live streaming, which enable us to “virtually” attend public worship. However, to make this practice a long term norm is to depart from the biblical pattern: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25)

The Apostle Paul wrote multiple letters to the churches when he was not with them. However, he did not consider this to be a fulfillment of his ministry to them. In his letter to the church at Rome he wrote: “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (Rom. 1:11)

Paul believed he needed to be with the church in order for them to be “established”. In nature a shepherd can not tend to his sheep from a distance. He must live among them. Such is the case with the pastor as well (see 1 Pet. 5:1-3).

[When the shutdown due to COVID-19 first occurred back in March, we initially utilized Facebook Live to live stream our services. However, due to low bandwidth issues, we switched to using the Zoom app to video-conference. Once we were able to resume in-person meetings, we continued to (and still today) use Zoom for those who are in a “high risk” category and do not feel comfortable attending yet. We post sermons to our website at least twice per week, and publish them on our podcast and a link to Facebook. ] [W]e . . . continue to utilize such [technologies] for purposes of ministering to those who are not able to attend public worship. Also, these technologies . . . serve as effective tools for evangelism.

WARNING: When the threat of the Corona Virus has passed, I admonish all church members to physically attend church regardless of the convenience of “virtual” attendance. Satan would be pleased if he could weaken the body of Christ by separating the members of the body.

There is a simple question you can ask yourself every Sunday morning. Am I physically able to attend? If the answer is yes, DO NOT settle for “virtual” attendance.” Jerusalem is a city that is compact together.” (Psalm 122:3)

“From whom” (speaking of Jesus Christ) “the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph. 4:16)