As the Coronavirus continues to spread, and new state and federal mandates and guidelines are put in place, limiting the number of people who can gather in a public place, we are changing how we worship and care for our church family. Our public gatherings, including Sunday services, all Sunday ministries, and all small groups through the week, will not meet in-person. However, this isn’t a time to back away from the Lord. It’s a time to keep pressing in. It’s our desire to continue to connect and grow together as a church through the technology we have available to us.
Here are some things we need to do, collectively and personally, to stay connected with each other, and continue to be a disciple for Christ.
1. CONTINUE TO WORSHIP
While we cannot meet together physically, we are going to be an on-line church. We are going to do Facebook Live on Sunday mornings for our worship service. Starting this Sunday, March 22nd at 10 am, we will go live on Facebook. Pastor Dusty will have a worship team, and they will lead worship. You’ll be able to still sing and make melody onto the Lord with your heart as Ephesians 5:19 tells us to do. Then Pastor Jim will bring the message.
2. CONTINUE TO GIVE
During our Facebook Live service, we will take an offering. You may be thinking, “Well, how are we going to that when I’m at home?” You can give by going to our website to give on-line, or you can send a check by mail to Harvest Woodhull, PO Box 597, Woodhull, IL 61490. We still will take an offering as an act of worship.
This is an important time to continue to give. It’s easy to think that because we aren’t meeting together like normal, we really don’t need to give. Remember, your worship through giving isn’t because you’re honoring the church, you give because you are honoring the Lord. In addition, we, as a church, still need everyone to continue to be faithful to give because, even during this difficult time, we have to keep the church running. We ask that you would first, be faithful with your tithe. Then, as the Lord leads, you also have the opportunity to give to the back room remodel building fund.
3. CONTINUE TO DO SMALL GROUPS
We are not going to be meeting in-person for our small groups, but we can still utilize the technology we have with different phone apps or computers, to see and interact with each other. With the schools and school activities shut down, perhaps now you have some free time that you didn’t have before. What a perfect opportunity to get involved with a small group. I encourage you to take advantage of the technology, be creative, and continue to meet and grow together.
4. CONTINUE TO READ AND PRAY
Many times in a crisis like this, God begins to stir the hearts of his people. But also during times of a crisis, the enemy likes to produce fear in the hearts of God’s people. This is why we need to be faithful in spending time each day taking in God’s Word so that it may dwell within in our hearts richly. We also need to be spending time in prayer; praying for those in need, praying for those who have been infected with the virus, praying for God to move in His people through these circumstances, and praying for those who don’t know Christ, that their hearts might be open to the Gospel.
5. CONTINUE TO WITNESS
One of the blessings about all of this is that unbelievers may be more open to hearing the Gospel. Their hearts and minds are full of uncertainty and fear, so be a voice of certainty for them. Talk to them about the hope you have in Christ. Share with them the fact that these kind of trials are talked about in the Bible, and they don’t have to live in fear. They can have certainty in Christ. Invite them to “church” through Facebook Live. Let’s take advantage of every opportunity that is provided to us.
6. CONTINUE TO HELP
Without being able to serve in ministry at the church, we have to look for opportunities to serve in different capacities. Although we all still have to be cautious and wise in regards to social space, we might be able to care for others by picking up groceries for an elder person, or others that are more susceptible to catching the virus, or helping a family with child care while school is out of session. In whatever way you can, continue to serve and help.
We know this isn’t ideal, but we are trying to make the best out of a difficult situation. It’s our prayer that we all will come together, do what we can, and stay connected and grow as a church. We want to see people continue to worship, walk, work, and witness for Christ.
You are loved,