What Can We Do?
This week I read an article by a Christian pastor in China who shared some of the lessons his church had learnt about ministry in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. He estimated they are about 8 weeks ahead of us in terms of the virus’ progression. One of the things that stood out to me in his articles was their tireless efforts to keep connecting with one another creatively using technology. Many of his church members had a lot of spare time on their hands, and rather than waiting around doing nothing (or watching Netflix!), they redeemed the time by devoting themselves all the more to prayer, to each other, and to the Scriptures. As isolation increases and things slow down, I believe our greatest challenge may very well be to waste the time we are given. So, what can we do to redeem the time?
Let’s meet online
Firstly, let’s keep up our weekly rhythm of meeting together to worship God, only, let’s do it online! God’s people have been meeting on a weekly basis for thousands of years (Acts 20:7). This is an important part of our Christian identity. So, join us online at 9AM and 6PM on Sundays by using the following link: www.bpcc.sermon.net/live
And let me encourage you to participate just like you would in a physical gathering. God still hears your singing and your prayers! And we are still joined together by the Holy Spirit even while physically apart (1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:13). So, give God glory by singing to him. The live-stream shouldn’t be treated like a TV show to sit back and consume, but a worship service to participate in for God’s glory.
Secondly, let’s keep soaking in the word of God. Commit yourself to reading daily. Consider reading the letter of Colossians which reminds us of the supremacy of Christ in all things. Do a Bible plan through the Bible app with a few friends by inviting each other to it (more details about the app are here: https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/). Or, if you find reading difficult, we’ve been given a free subscription to the Dwell app for a limited time which allows you to listen to Scripture being read (use this link to gain access: https://dwellapp.io/signup/with/7gr8F3).
Paul says in Ephesians 6:18, “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”. Consider setting aside a daily or weekly block of time to commit yourself to praying for your fellow believers, for your neighbours, for our country and our world. Text or call someone from church to see how they are and ask if you can pray for them in a specific way during this time.
Please can we encourage you to keep giving. In the coming months the ministry of our church will be needed. We need to be prepared to respond to needs inside and outside of our church. Obviously, we won’t have the opportunity to ‘pass around the bags’ but we can still give towards the ongoing ministry of BPCC. If you haven’t given online before please consider giving using the following link: https://oasischurch.com.au/give/. Or if you would like to setup regular giving you can do so with these bank details: ANZ Bank Everton Park, BSB: 014 234, A/C: 3670 48692.
If you’re blessed with a secure and flexible job you could also consider setting up a bank account for ‘generosity’ purposes. Put money in it each week and use it whenever an opportunity arises to help others in need.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” Although we have a responsibility to physically distance ourselves from one another, let’s not socially distance ourselves. Pick up the phone and call someone to check in on them, connect through social media, send someone a text. Let’s keep encouraging each other, sending each other Bible verses, telling people we are praying for them. We need the reassurance that comes from togetherness and relational closeness during this time.
Ask God for opportunities to serve your neighbours during this time. Look for things that you might be able to do. Perhaps you could offer to run errands for the elderly or the vulnerable. Perhaps you could offer to pray for them in your own time if you think they’re open to the offer. Let’s reach out to others with gospel hope in this time, because we really are so blessed to have been given an unfailing hope through Jesus.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Grace and peace,