IMAGINE THE IMPACT of Covid 19. We are forced to take the gospel out of the box—church building.
Here are the top ten reasons why it is so:
1. FAMILY. People are confined in more intimate familial settings. So there could be a more sincere conversation amongst members of the family; conversations that could lead to spiritual matters.
Act 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Act 16:32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
2. TIME. People are restricted for an extended period. A month-long (enhanced) community quarantine from March 15- April 14. So much time in our hands.
3. LOCATION. People are staying in a stationary area (i.e., the entire Luzon, mind you), therefore the conversations amongst loved ones and small cluster of relationships could progress and can dive into more about the meaning of life and its eternal implications.
4. TECHNOLOGY. People are in a better time when the online technology is in place on a massive global scale.
5. ACCESS. People have more access to videos because of the proliferation of smartphones.
I took the liberty to cut and paste this Viber message from one of our long time Victory group leaders: “Hello! I just want to share…natutuwa ako kasi yung mga unexpected ko na tao mag-watch ng online service nag joined. Officemate ko sa una kong work, my aunt from US, my HS friends, college classmates na nasa cruise ship, sister ko, tito ng ex-bf ko. Kahit ubos load ko, still grateful for this online service. Yung mga yun unexpected na nag-join. Thank you Lord!”
6. DESPAIR. People are asking questions that are leading them to seek life’s meaning—all because of Covid.
I heard of a story of one of BDO’s vice presidents that after watching our morning prayer (Monday, March 16), she said this, “I told my officers and staff that we would have corporate prayer at 9 am. Please pray for me. I am planning to share what Ptr Ferdie shared today at the 7 am prayer mtg.*”
7. BORDERLESS. People are connected extensively in social media and that a worship gathering live streaming could make fellow believers be reconnected regardless of where they are around the world.
8. EAVESDROPPING. People from the outside world can now look into the fellowship and worship of the people of God that they can also declare, “truly God is among you.”
1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 1Co 14:25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
After last Sunday’s online sermon, one of our volunteers has this to say: “Share ko lang. I saw one of my college orgmates join the live. He is an agnostic and I’m sure hindi accident na he clicked the video and joined in. I hope we also include them in our prayers as we see people who do not usually go to our church join in our live videos. Grabe, God is still in control. Praying for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.”
9. PRODIGALS. People who have been away, whether by neglect or by choice, can now be without excuse to come back home as the Holy Spirit brings them into the fold.
One of our pastors had been ministering to his parents for quite a while. Last Sunday, as an OFW assigned in the Middle East, his dad watched the online worship as his son ministered the communion, corporate prayer, the altar call, and the benediction. I am still wondering how a dad would respond to a son’s plea to surrender to Jesus. What a moment when the son did the altar call for people to come to Christ.
10. MISSION. People in the church should embrace the fact that by being in this technological age, they might as well accept the inevitable reality that they are virtual online missionaries. We could truly be accessed and be ‘present’ in every corner of the earth. Well, as long as there is a wifi or an LTE.
Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
I can‘t help but revisit a passage of scripture in Genesis. I know Covid 19 may not necessarily be man made per se, but nevertheless appropriate for this discourse:
Gen 59:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
My prayer too would be “that many people should be [made] alive” by the gospel of Christ, “as they are today.”
Gayle, Rhoda. Wuhan Christians Preach Gospel On Streets Amidst Novel Coronavirus Outbreak. 10 February 2020. https://godtv.com/wuhan-gospel-novel-coronavirus/