To Mask or Not to Mask: Is that really the question?
Schools, restaurants and businesses, churches—all are asking questions. Shall we require wearing a mask when in our building with others? Should we follow the lead of others (government, other school districts, churches, etc.) or should we do what we think is best for us?
Debate abounds. So does the insistence on my right to do “what I think is best.” Many of us are fiercely independent. Many of us insist “I’ve heard the truly correct skinny on this. Haven’t you?”
Listening to our favorite expert, many of us have come to personal conclusions, only to find ourselves irritated that others around us have not (apparently) arrived where we are.
Am I describing your world? Your heart? Your frustration?
SO WHAT’S A CHURCH TO DO?
Our ministry’s leadership board and staff team feel a keen leadership responsibility for our church family and about our church facility. We are listening to several reliable sources from both the medical arts and local government about best practices for re-opening our campus for worship and discipleship ministry.
Bottom line—our decisions must promote what is best and safety-conscious for all. We want people to return with confidence. We want those who come to benefit from the unique blessing of face-to-face fellowship and encouragement. And we do not want to be a hot-spot place for COVID19. These priorities, we believe, honor both the Lord, those in authority around us, and one another.
Today, many national retailers like Starbucks and Walmart are announcing they are requiring masks for those inside their facilities. Yet before these most recent announcements, our Board thoughtfully and prayerfully came to the same decision. Let’s mask up!
So here’s what this means.
- We want you to come to worship at our campus on Sunday morning! Register and come. Our numbers are increasing each week, and it is wonderfully “feeling” like church again. So cool; so much fun.
- When you come, bring a mask (or get one from us; they will be available outside our doorways). As you enter, expect to wear a mask. In fellowship together, let’s agree for the benefit of all to honor the mask rule.
- We can make this fun! Feed your wild side…wear a fun, creative mask if you’d like. We can choose to put some joy into this.
BUT WE DON’T AGREE
Yes, I know. But the question really isn’t “To wear or not wear a mask.” The greater question is, “Will I agree to do what our ministry’s leaders have deemed loving and helpful?”
It’s always been about that 2nd question in the body of Christ. Christians have often disagreed on secondary matters (mask wearing is a secondary matter). Paul addressed how we view and use our “liberty” as Christians in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8-9. In secondary matters, it is never about my right to do this or that. It is always about voluntarily releasing my liberty and doing something which may be personally restrictive, but which blesses and benefits others.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. He was in the form of God. Yet he did not require it a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself…” (Philippians 2:5-6). “Do nothing from selfishness…in humility count others better than yourselves” (2:3).
WELL THEN, I JUST WON’T COME
Really? Take a step back from that and ask yourself, “Is being planted on non-mask wearing really worth missing out on coming to be blessed and to bless others in fellowship?” Or might we all say, “You know, this is a good exercise for me learning how to live out Romans 14:15.”
To be sure, many of you are staying home for good, personal safeguarding reasons. Such a call we eagerly honor.
But my simple, quiet appeal to the rest of us is simply this. Let’s love one another well. Thank you, team!