I don’t need to tell you about the anxiety our country is feeling right now about the expectation that the Covid-19 virus will infect an increasing number of people in the near future. Our lives are all going to be disrupted for a bit, as large group gatherings are limited, canceling events, and seeing more people work from home.
However, in this disruption, we have an opportunity to take advantage of the break in people’s busy schedules. We can be persons of peace in anxious times. We can love our neighbors in new ways.
As we enter into this unexpected season, I encourage you and your congregation to consider what missional practices you can participate in. (Please take your own health and the health of your neighbors seriously, and if you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, or are feeling sick, do not meet in person with others). Here are some ideas:
- Today the CDC recommended that persons over 60 plan on staying home for the next few weeks. Many of these people live alone and are worried about being lonely. Can you stop by your elderly neighbor’s house for a chat once a day? Can you help them learn how to use video conferencing to talk to their family who may be far away?
- Invite another household over for church in your house. The church is wherever followers of Jesus are—it is not limited to a building. Suggestions: Don’t try to duplicate your church’s worship service. Instead, include things that work well in a small group: Dwell in God’s Word, Pray for your neighborhood, city, country, and world. Share a meal together. Listen to a worship song on YouTube. Think about how you could serve your neighbors together.
- In times like these, you may find yourself spending more time on social media than usual. Be aware of your presence in this space. How are you a person of peace online? How can you encourage and pray for your online network of friends?
- As long as you can maintain social distancing, take walks in your neighborhood, taking the opportunity to pray for your community. Our Great Lakes Team is encouraging people to pray this prayer: Lord, we pray for an outpouring of your Holy Spirit in this place. Reveal Christ to us, shape us in the character of Christ, and equip us for the mission of Christ.
- If you haven’t already, join the Nextdoor.com page for your neighborhood. As you ‘meet’ your neighbors online, are there ways that you can provide resources they need? Are there ways you can pray for them? Are you in need of anything that your neighbors can offer to you?
If you are not able to attend corporate worship, I encourage you to take this opportunity to join one of Resonate’s partners for live-streamed worship. Here are a couple of options:
GVSU Campus Ministry: Online Facebook Live Campus Praise Rally: Sundays at 7 pm for the foreseeable future. Check their facebook page for instructions to connect. (This coming Sunday they will be sharing amazing stories of impact from their recent Spring Break Mission Trips!)
Encounter Church: Worship is this weekend at 9:15a and 10:45a @ EncounterChurch.org/online.
Resonate believes that the Spirit is already at work in our communities—even in the midst of crisis. I pray that you will be able to see the opportunities the Spirit is inviting you into over the next few weeks to love God and love your neighbors.