Pastor Update: Our Mission Moving Forward

Pastor Update - Blog

Oak Park Family,

We are experiencing unprecedented circumstances as our world deals with the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). While it has certainly disrupted our lives beyond what we could have imagined; we must not forget that Jesus remains Lord and he is accomplishing his good purposes through the trouble (John 14:1; 1 Cor 15:25-28). The Scriptures remind us not to weep in hopelessness because Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, who has conquered and has authority over the course of history, even the climatic events which unfold (Rev 5:5; 6:1-17). Therefore, do not be alarmed by the hardship of this world but take heart, because Jesus has overcome the world by his death and resurrection (John 16:33).

As we seek to take refuge in our Lord, the question before us now concerns how we continue to carry out our mission to Love Jesus, Love People, and Help People Love Jesus. Over the past week, your pastors have worked diligently to develop a course of action to help guide us through this perilous time. It’s our intent to commit ourselves to these measures through the rest of March and then reassess in April.

Worship

As it concerns our Sunday worship, we will continue our Live Stream at 10:30 AM. You’ll be able to access it quickly by going to oakparkbaptist.com/live. I know we had some technical difficulties last Sunday, but we believe those issues have been resolved. Also, please be advised that we are limiting access to the building only to those who are necessary participants in the service (i.e. worship team, preacher, and media team). This will keep us from gathering more than 10 people within the same room.

While the current setup is not ideal, we want to encourage you to actively worship in your own home. This includes joining in the singing, praying, reading, giving, and listening that you would typically do if gathered together. Although we won’t be able to collect an offering in person we do ask that you continue to give through one of these three means: (1) give online at oakparkbaptist.com/give, (2) mail a check with attention “Stewardship” to 1111 Allison Lane, Jeffersonville, IN 47130, or (3) drop off a check at the church office or mailbox at the front of the building.

Community

In an effort to comply with our governing officials’ requests to limit personal interactions, we are suspending all face-to-face gatherings such as Community Groups and any other small group activities. Despite not being able to meet in person, we’re working through our Elder Care and Community Group structures to make tangible touchpoints with each member. In the coming days, you should receive a personal phone call from either a Pastor or Community Group Leader checking to see how you’re doing and how we can best serve you. In the subsequent weeks, we’ll continue to make weekly contact via phone or text since we will not have our normal interactions on Sundays.

Though Community Groups and other ministries are suspended we do encourage you to make full use of your technological abilities to remain connected, to meet needs, and support one another. We hope to utilize some of these means to foster greater community over the coming weeks.

Discipleship

With all our Bible Studies and Discipleship Classes suspended we want to provide you with a daily devotional. Therefore, beginning on Monday (3/23) we’ll send out a weekly home devotional guide based on the previous Sunday Worship Service and Sermon. This devotional will provide a daily (M-F) Scripture reading, song, prayer guide, and discussion questions. It is our hope that this devotional will help us continue in our spiritual disciplines and foster greater fidelity to Christ. In the near future, we’ll also begin to explore other avenues for us to engage in discipleship.

Mission

This crisis obviously impacts our mission to take the gospel to our community and the ends of the earth (Acts 2:8). One immediate impact is that we must indefinitely postpone all our summer mission trips. It’s our intent to reschedule these once the crisis settles. In the meantime, our mission team will maintain communication with all our missionaries and partners to see how we can best serve them.

Despite the challenges that we face, we don’t want to overlook the new gospel opportunities this crisis will afford us. Our good Father often uses suffering and trials as a means of spiritual awaking. So, we ask that you begin to pray that God would open doors for you to share Christ with your neighbors. In the coming weeks, we think we’ll have a better idea how to best serve our community for the sake of Christ.

We hope to give particular focus on our immediate neighborhood around the church. We want to open up lines of communication so that they know Oak Park is here to serve them and provide tangible support throughout this crisis. It’s our prayer that the Lord will use our acts of charity and love to open doors to share the good news of Jesus.

Operations

Finally, as we seek to cooperate with our governing officials’ recommendations to limit unnecessary interactions, beginning this Monday (3/23) the church office will limit its hours to Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. This will allow the staff to primarily work remotely from home and limit their personal interactions. However, even with these limited hours, you will still be able to reach us at 812-283-9400 or by emailing general@oakparkbaptist.com. We’ll be checking messages regularly each day.

Lord willing these measures will end sooner than later. Nevertheless, please know that your pastors are actively praying for you and available to serve you. Most importantly, rest assured that your Savior who keeps you will neither slumber nor sleep (Ps 121:4).

In Christ,

Pastor Chase