I am proud of the leaders and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With very little notice, churches were closed and creativity kicked in. I have seen livestreamed and pre-recorded worship services, ideas for small groups, resources for kids to worship at home, ideas on how to return tithes and give offerings besides eGiving; support groups developing via WhatsApp, Zoom prayer meetings, network support via email, crisis phone support and the sharing of health information. It has been wonderful. The Church is being church in a very different environment.
No-one was prepared for this crisis, but it did not surprise God. Could God be preparing His church for the challenges that are to come?
The church has an opportunity to reinvent itself. It can get back to its origin of being a network of families and friends who met in homes. This is an opportunity to grow all of us as disciple-making disciples of Jesus.
With family members losing jobs or taking a wage freeze, neighbours being isolated and lonely, panic about food and medical care, society as we know it has shut down. But the church can still practise social distancing and care.
Will we notice those who aren’t connected through social media or have no internet? Do we have church friends’ phone numbers? Are we supporting those who are still discovering faith and spirituality? Are we following Matthew 25? Are we sharing good social media clips?
Although many will discredit the church, all that I see and hear suggests that people need hope in Jesus. We can be anchors of stability and pillars of hope to all those around us. Let’s be the church to the glory of Jesus, our Head!