Our God is amazing! He certainly knows how to turn lemons into lemonade. Why do I say this? A first glance, the Corona-virus pandemic has potentials to undermine worship and Christian discipleship. But that is when you look at it from the traditional point of view: “the way things are normally done and the way it should be”. However, a second look would reveal that though the enemy meant Corona-virus for evil, God is using the occasion to do great things. I would mention just a few.
Families are together
The nuclear families have never been together for an extended period as we have witnessed since the Corona-virus pandemic. Mrs. A., an elementary school staff in west Michigan tells the story of how her family life had been full of activities – school, sports, piano lessons, dance, youth and of course church but now- it is all about staying together and doing things together as family. When we spend extended periods together as family sharing food, enjoying laughter and settling conflicts, our faith is sometimes tested and certainly we grow from it as we learn in proximity to each other. While some learn patience, others learn self-control. Some learn kindness and yet, others learn peace making.
Many well-done online Sermons created
Another good thing that has come out of this season is that more than ever before, we now have an array of many well-done online sermons. Pastor Jason Zimmer of Northpoint church, Plainwell delivers his live sermons with intensity, conviction and laughter. You would like to sit and listen to him week to week and he likes it too. With the coronavirus problem, you can now watch his sermons on Facebook and other media. For the same reason, many other pastors have their sermons available online. These sermons, no doubt will be a good resource to house churches in persecuted communities and small churches without a pastor.
New ways of discipleship
In the past, most church discipleship programs happen around the church building. Now, it has moved to the families. Churches are finding creative ways to engage members in prayer and study of God’s word. Pastor Mike Vandenberg of Hope Church in Indianapolis uses facebook and emails to provide daily devotionals to his church members. Different conversations are ongoing among pastors of diverse denominations on how best to administer the Lord’s supper in a time of crises. Even an article suggested the use of Drones to deliver it! These are conversations that were not imagined before the coronavirus pandemic.
New Ways of Worship
Decades ago, Robert Schuller’s drive-in church services were “cutting edge”. Today, Coronavirus has created occasions for more churches to do drive in services. Concepts such as family worship, small group worship, online worship have never been popular before as they are today. In all of these, the Lord has taught us in practical terms that the church is not the building but the people; that neither coronavirus nor anything in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev Joshua Amaezechi, an ordained Minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), is the President of the LEMA Institute. He worked formerly as the Lead Chaplain at the Kalamazoo County Jail, Michigan. The opinions and comments expressed in this blog are exclusively that of the author. The LEMA Institute or its Board and faculty is not responsible for any aspects of the information supplied by the blogge