Dr. Tim Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God (Source: Facebook)
In the last year or so, many have offered warnings about current threats to justice, our nation’s economy, and people’s physical health. But fewer have recognized how our spiritual enemy has taken advantage of this season to target and stifle the church.
Yet as general overseer of the Church of God, Dr. Tim Hill recognizes this targeted spiritual attack. He calls it “the strategy of containment.”
This concept is actually not anything new, he says. As you read through the Old Testament, you’ll see this strategy of war over and over. An invading army would surround a city, cutting it off from its food supply and, if possible, its water supply. Once the people had consumed their stored food, they would begin to starve. Eventually, the people’s will would break, and they would surrender the city.
Dr. Hill sees the enemy doing that to the church right now through dire situations like the pandemic.
“I see the enemy really employing the strategy of containment against the church so that we’re not doing what God’s called the church to do—reap the harvest, help the community, and help one another,” he says. “We’ve become focused on ourselves, and we’re forced to devour what we’ve built up in our own storehouses.”
3 Ways to Push Past Spiritual Containment
The more believers cave to pressure and fear, the more ineffective the church becomes in the Great Commission. It’s time to push back against the strategy of containment, Dr. Hill says.
In times like these, the church has to get creative.
“When the devil tried to silence us, shutter our doors, keep us from doing what we’re called to do, ministers everywhere in every denomination found new ways to keep preaching,” he explains. “They got in front of cameras, looking at empty seats in their auditoriums and preached to more people online than were coming to their church services.”
Dr. Hill offers 3 practical ways churches can be even more effective in the nation’s current situation.
Churches, no matter how small their congregations, can’t afford to remain unfamiliar with the internet, social media, and apps. As more people use their smartphones to access information and even engage in events, the more churches need to meet them there.
“We [the Church of God] actually saw more people saved in the year of COVID-19 than we did the year before, and I attribute that to the simple fact that we were forced to get online,” Dr. Hill says.
Make friends with the generations.
It’s no secret that younger generations tend to think about issues and see the world differently previous generations. And while the church must never dilute the truth or compromise, it is important to listen to what the younger generation is saying and hear their hearts.
Dr. Hill says churches may be surprised at the great ideas their young people bring. His conversations with young people in his denomination have led to innovative ideas for discipleship and Bible apps.
“New generations are hungry,” he says. “Those of us who are from an older generation need to embrace new generations and let them come alongside us. We have to come alongside them and to get our message out.”
Stay current with the times.
Church leaders—and believers in general—should be reading now more than ever. As we continue to stay up to date on what’s going on around our communities and our nation, we’ll have a better understanding of how to reach the lost and impact our world.
Ultimately, Dr. Hill says, what will help the church stand against the enemy’s strategy of containment is choosing to see from God’s perspective instead of our limited one.
“We must keep the big picture in mind,” he points out. “And that is that God has a plan. We are the people of God, and this is about His Kingdom. It’s about eternity. We’ve got to keep looking at the big picture.”
Come hear Dr. Hill preach at the 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music event at the Ark Encounter in just a few months! Click here for more information or to purchase your tickets.