In a recent conversation with faith leaders from around the country and terrific illustration was used! I have to apologize that I can’t remember who said it but wow this has been on my mind since I heard it. I’m not 100% sure if this is how it’s actually done but the premise of the illustration was built around training a professional chess player on how to more successfully play the game.
It was said that when teaching someone to play chess competitively that the queen would be removed from play. The Queen in chess is the most powerful and versatile pawn on the board. The idea was if you could better use the different pieces on the board, then you’d be better equipped to play the game to its fullest potential. Too many players become too reliant on the power of the queen is what I was told.
Now admittedly I’m not a chess player much less a professional or competitive chess player. Actually I guess I didn’t even realize chess was a competitive sport! Sorry if that offends anyone but I just haven’t seen tickets sold to chess tournaments where I live.
But the illustration with regard to chess wasn’t really about chess. It was about the church and our queen of sorts. The world looks vastly different now that it did just a few short weeks ago. As a pastor I never thought I’d be in a place where mass gatherings were considered a bad thing. Alas today we’re being told to maintain social distancing and limiting our interactions with others to an absolute necessity. So what does that do to the church? It seemingly removes the church’s queen pawn from play.
Now before my traditionally minded folk get all bent out of shape, I love public worship and I’m not belittling it at all! Quite the contrary. I think public worship as a congregation on a Sunday or whatever day is powerful and massively effective! But have we put all of our eggs into one basket? Has too much of an emphasis been placed on corporate worship at the expense of other smaller gatherings where the body of Christ is more fully engaged in the worship?
Have we been forced by this pandemic to see worship from a different perspective? Can we worship together but not in the same room? Can we thrust more emphasis on a regular basis into intentional connections with those around us? Are we being taught never to take the moments of corporate worship for granted again? Is this the wake up call the chruch needs to be more purposeful about how it connects with its community?
When the queen is removed from the chess board, we see the power of the other pieces on the board. When the Sunday morning event is gone from the church, we’re forced to see the power of the different aspects of the Body of Christ. Friends none of this is idea! But it will be what we will make of it! So buckle down. Spend time with family. Call a friend or neighbor to check in. Do your best to follow the guidelines even if you don’t agree with it. And for goodness sake take this opportunity to learn, grow and find strengths you didn’t even know you had. Be well my friends!