As most of you know (especially if you attend Renovation Church) we are asking everyone to wear a mask when we move to indoor services on Sunday, October 4th. I sincerely appreciate those of you who have reached out to me with feedback on this decision – both positive and negative. I have provided numerous reasons on why we are making this decision and those can be found here: https://tylerramsbey.com/2020/07/27/unmasking-the-mask-debate/
Instead, I want to provide the example of a real person that many in our church know. This is a comment that was sent to me by a member of our church. This person has been part of our church before our church was around – if my memory serves me correct, I think she was the first person to get plugged into our church planting team. I have changed some of the details in the original comment to help shield this person’s identity. Her comment is below:
“Hi Tyler. I read your thing on having masks on for indoor church. I stand behind you 100% on that. Unfortunately, there are too many people around who are not wearing them…. I want to tell you I went to the (name of business removed) meeting couple weeks ago and I was the only one wearing a mask and it did upset me that people are careless. We social distanced in there but I would have felt more comfortable if all had a mask on in an enclosed room. I am one of the vulnerable older adults and will feel safer watching your services online when we get indoors. If the crowd gets smaller indoors this winter and EVERYONE has a mask on I might chance going. OK? You hang in there with your decision it is the right decision.”
I hope what I am about to say next does not come off as too harsh but here’s the reality – if you are unwilling to wear a piece of cloth on your face for one hour a week to make other people feel safe so they can go back to worshiping with us in-person, that is a sign of spiritual immaturity. One practical application of Paul’s admonition to “in humility consider others as more important than yourselves (Philip. 2:3)” is to deal with the small inconvenience of a mask for the sake of people like the one above in our church who do not feel safe joining us until we follow CDC guidelines.
Finally, my daughter has to wear a mask every single day for preschool. She has never complained about it. In contrast, we had some elderly people stop by our house a few weeks ago and Ava was adamant that she put on her mask when they came in our house so she could do her part in protecting them from COVID-19. If my 3 1/2 year old understands this, I hope & pray adult followers of Jesus will as well.