FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — COVID-19 has been hitting everyone in some way. Chris Bell with 3 Circle Church experienced the pandemic before maybe anyone in this area when he and several people from Mobile and Baldwin County who were part of a church group had to be quarantined in a holy land hotel. My first question was what did you learn from that experience?
Guest: It was an amazing experience, for us we learned a lot of things as people of Faith, we had to learn to depend on God because we’re completely out of control. We could have been there for months had we not gotten out of there when we did it could have been a very different situation, so really it’s kind of when the rubber meets the road in your faith when you realize if God does not deliver you you’re not going to work it out on your own. No connection I had, no talent God has given me, nothing could crack the door open it was out of our control and then on top of that we were in a hotel that had a lot of people with the virus and this was in the beginning when people didn’t understand how to quarantine correctly and all of that and all 13 of us, none of us got it. It was God’s protection, for me it was a faith builder. I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget when I saw God do miraculous things to protect us and to bring us home and it really prepared us for leading for the past four months in a time that’s been scary for a lot of us. I can just go back to God’s faithfulness to us in that time
Anchor: How should people of faith handle uncertainty?
Guest: The Bible tells us in the book of Ephisians that we should be careful how we live but it’s not saying we should be fearful. So what I’ve tried to do, what I’ve tried to lead my family, my church my team to do is to move from being fearful which is our natural response–we get scared and that leads to anxiety stress and a lot of other bad things, the Bible tells us more than any other phrase in the new testament, the most repeated phrase is some form of “do not fear” in the New Testament. So God doesn’t want us to go the fear route but it does say be careful. To me two things can be true at the same time: we can wear masks we can care about our neighbor, we can listen to doctors while being completely confident in God and not being fearful and that’s the path we’ve tried to walk as a church and me as an individual. Yes things are uncertain, Chad you and I don’t know where this thing is headed and no one else does, there’s not an expert on the planet that can really predict where things are headed right now it is completely uncertain. But, as people of faith we have the Word of God, we have this incredible backstory of what God has already done so as people of faith we have to walk through uncertainty with the ability to be not fearful but instead trusting in God
Anchor: What are some permanent changes you see to church bodies because of the pandemic?
Guest: I think if churches don’t pay attention to this it’s going to be hard for the foreseeable future. Ont thing that’s going to change we’re reopening on August the 16th tentatively what we’re calling “phase 1”. We’ll be decreased capacity, all of the things they’re asking us to do, I think it’s going to be a long time before most people want to come back for large gatherings in buildings, I think they need to be ready for much fewer people than they had come before the pandemic and that means churches will have to minister in very creative ways and shepherd the flock and disciple people and meet needs through virtual options, online
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