Dealing with the STRETCHING – 6 Strategies

City Life Church Update from Pastor Tim

I’ve just completed our THIRD video update regarding our strategy to slowly reopen the City Life Building for live services.

In today’s video, I’ll explain our overall strategy and goals for the month of May, what to expect inside, and what we are doing regarding the “at-risk population.”


As I mentioned in the video, there is a survey regarding the “At-Risk Population”, and I REALLY need for you to complete it. This is critical for designing our plans, strategies, and policies for the month of June.

TAKE THE SURVEY

Thank you, so much!!
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As a pastor, I’m seeing a lot of things swirling around us.
Family strife. It’s at an all-time high. Depression and loneliness. It’s at an all-time high. Fear and worry over lost income, business collapse, economic failure. They are at an all-time high.

On top of that is the very real concern that COVID-19 could assault your own body, or infect a family member or friend.

Never before in our lifetimes have we faced anything quite like this.

This crisis is revealing the worst in all of us. It’s extracting the ugly from us. I’m talking about the ugly we don’t want anyone to know about.

This pain is forcing us to rely on God. WHY? So the best can be instilled in us. And I want that, don’t you?

There’s always a plan behind the pain.

I want the plan of God, the help of God, and God’s future for me to be released through the pain.

But this pain is STRETCHING me. It’s stretching YOU. And this stretching is allowing things to come to the surface so you can deal with them.

Like stretching a rubber band, I believe it’s because God is getting ready to launch you forward. And it’s time to rid yourself of old toxins, buried garbage, and wrong thought patterns.

You can’t carry that into the new place God is launching you!
If you could only see what God was doing, you wouldn’t be complaining, stressed, and overwhelmed.

So, I put together six stretching strategies for this season:

Stretching Strategy #1: Know that God will Make it Good.

You absolutely must believe that through this stretching, God is wanting to make YOU better, your business better, your family better, your church better, and your city better

In all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

How many things? ALL things!!

Stretching Strategy #2: Keep an Eternal Perspective.

Right now, everything seems to be changing every day. It’s hard to look down the road very far at all.

It’s never been harder to plan. But even though you can’t see next week, it’s critical to get and keep an eternal perspective, especially during this time of stretching.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NIV)

Regardless of the pain during this season of stretching, it ends well!
Keep the eternal perspective! You will persevere in this trial. This stretching is preceding your launching!

Stretching Strategy #3: Resist Fear. God is with You.

You look around, and fear grasps you. You read the news, and fear overtakes you. You think about tomorrow, and fear overwhelms you.
You don’t know if you can take another day of this stretching.  But this is where God comes in!

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4 NIV)

Resist that fear! And know that this stretching can be used to reshape you.
Let it reshape you, and don’t be afraid of the reshaping!

Old things are coming to the surface and dying off. It’s time to discover new talent, discover new anointings, and discover new power
WHO will you be on the other side of this? God is setting you up for a launching.

New creativity and new ministry will come if you resist that fear.

Stretching Strategy #4: Run To Family.

“WE are in this together!!” Say that in your blood family. Say it in your church family.

Everyone is affected differently, but no one is exempt from the stretching. So, run TO family! Family sticks with one another through thick and thin.

God sets the lonely in family, He leads out the prisoners with singing, but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. (Psalm 68:6 NIV)

I don’t want a sun-scorched land. We need each other like never before!!!
So, let the guard down. Love one another. Your family needs you. YOU need your family!

Stretching Strategy #5: Cry Out To God.

Crying out involves emotion.

You’ve probably been feeling some new or buried emotion. And maybe you don’t know what do to with it.

Use that emotion to cry out to God. This stretching is going to launch you forward, but you need to cry out to God in the middle of it.

Because when you do, God will order your steps. God will deliver you. God will launch you

It’s time to stop being critical, hateful, and angry. Your passion is going in the wrong direction.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. (Psalms 34:17-19 NIV)

So, cry out to God and thank Him for the stretching. It’s going to launch you into something wonderful!

Stretching Strategy #6:Pray and Don’t Stop Praying

Prayerlessness is powerlessness. Prayerlessness will cause you to become angrier, more isolated, and more hopeless.

During this time of stretching, God is preparing you for a new level.
But to get through it, you’ve got to pray. Pray like crazy. And don’t stop praying!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

Allow the stretching to launch you forward. You can come through this! You can be victorious.

God is breaking you out of your comfort zone. If everything stayed as is, nothing in your life would change. Your attitudes, emotions, and thought processes would never change.

And God needs you to change because the world is changing. And you are here on this earth for a reason at this time.

And God is stretching you to launch you into this new season with more wisdom, greater giftings, deeper relationships, solid footing, healthy emotions, and explosive ideas that will be essential with what’s coming around the corner.

This is big. And you’re a part!

The best really is yet to come.

Sincerely, Pastor Tim