"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Coronavirus - opportunities for mission

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Under: Random stuff

In these uncertain times, many people are understandably feeling a mixture of emotions including fear and anger. For many, the things that they find security in like health, work, finances and comfortable living are being taken away. It's easy to panic. It's easy to react by hoarding tins of meatballs and packets of loo roll. But how do we as God's people respond? Here are 3 very simple things that I have found helpful:

  1. Remembering that God is still sovereign. This is not a surprise to God. The almighty creator of the universe is still Lord of all, and can see this current crisis from a much bigger perspective than we can. Throughout history and across the globe, people have faced and are facing trials that remind them of the fragility of earthly life and the need to have an eternal perspective. In the comfortable West we are learning lessons that our Christian brothers and sisters around the world have known for years. Christians in Bangladesh know not to find security in their home as it is very likely to be washed away by devastating floods. Christians in Iran know not to put security in jobs or status because they know that they will be persecuted, exiled or even killed for their faith. As Christians, we're not to find security and meaning in temporary things, but in the sure and certain hope of eternal relationship with our Lord Jesus and the renewal of all creation when he comes again.

  2. Recognising a new openness to the gospel. I am already seeing that people who might not ordinarily think about the bigger questions of life are grappling with these issues, perhaps for the first time. When the foundations of our lives are shaken, all sorts of doubts and questions arise. My prayer is that this will be a time of huge spiritual renewal on a global scale.

  3. Responding with compassion. This is an opportunity to show God's love by serving people in practical ways. We also need to connect with how people are feeling and what they're thinking. This is no time to dismiss people's fears with platitudes, but it is an opportunity to talk about the hope that we have in Christ. This doesn't mean that we don't feel sadness and pain at what's going on around us, but it does mean that we don't feel despair. We can help others to see that they too can have a relationship with Christ that can't ever be broken by disease, poverty or death itself (Romans 8: 38 - 39)
I'm trying to make the most of the difficult circumstances that we're all facing to reach out with the gospel. Here are some ideas and things I'm trying to do (I'm sure you have many more!)

  • Join a Facebook community groups to offer support to others (running errands, doing shopping, collecting medication, walking dogs).
  • Make meals for people.
  • Phone and message people who may be isolated at home.
  • Connect with neighbours - leaflets through the door with your contact details and offers to help.
  • Offer to pray for people. People who are particularly vulnerable are the elderly, those at risk of domestic violence, those experiencing poverty and those struggling with physical and / or mental health problems.
  • Use Google street view to do a virtual prayer walk round your community.
  • Give generously - Foodbanks particularly need support at the moment. There's also an organisation called Acts 435 that enables you to give directly to people in need in the UK. We also need to remember to continue to support overseas charities that may suffer during this time.
  • Share Christian videos on social media.
  • For kids who are stuck indoors, download the free Guardians of Ancora game which is a brilliant adventure through the Bible world (I've played it - it's really good!)
  • Pray for unreached people groups with the Joshua Project app.
  • When you're online, share stuff that has spoken to you - from the Bible, Christian books, YouTube videos, blogs, infographics etc.
  • Keep in Christian community by having online small groups for Bible study and prayer through Skype or Zoom.
  • Lots of churches are live streaming teaching, worship and prayer instead of having physical meetings. This may be something that you can invite friends to share in.
  • Be real and be kind - share stories, struggles and hope. Ask for help and give help.

In : Random stuff 

Tags: coronavirus mission evangelism digital 


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