Building Community in a Crisis - Relational and sustainable church during Covid-19
With internet and video saturation at an all-time high, Christians need more than a transmission of a message. A new platform offers training to churches in Europe.
15 APRIL 2020 · 15:22 CET
A huge felt need in Covid-19 is for relationship and collective real time community. We are experiencing isolation, a lack of community and physical contact with friends and family.
Through history church has been defined as the gathering of Christians. Our hope is that during Covid-19 Christians can collectively meet their Comforter afresh and in turn offer comfort and hope to a dying and lonely world.
Some churches have closed their doors, unable to go online. Others are online but there is little or no relational aspect to church. With internet and video saturation at an all-time high and screen fatigue a genuine problem, Christians need more than a transmission of a message.
Community in a Crisis has been set up in response to Covid-19. We are passionate about highly relational sustainable church online. Through this project we have been offering multi-platform online training to get churches online. The training includes: Live Streaming, Facebook Live, Zoom, pre-recorded videos or any combination. Over 350 churches have received our training and materials so far. We have run training on getting the church online by Zoom, multi-platform worship, communicating Christ through social media.
For churches that need more help we have two drop-in tech sessions each week, one specifically for Zoom, the second is in partnership with Church Service planner – a new website that helps you easily create online services.
We are gathering churches from all denominations across Europe to learn from each other. We the global church need to get clear on our ecclesiology and missiology of church in a pandemic that actually reflects our values, not just convenience. This is a time to be united together across our continent. For in this unity – the world will know that the Father has sent his son.
GOD IS AT WORK AFRESH
Many churches are sharing stories that God is opening a new door and have seen an increase in guests at their services. Giovanni from Italy says this: “Who said that this virus was causing churches to close? By the grace of God, we are open more now than ever before”. As you pause and look at the demographics of these guests, you see that the Lord is at work in beautiful, profound and moving ways. Those that were isolated are now able to attend church. God is turning self-isolation on its head.
So in this mess we’re in, it seems that God is at work afresh. It is no surprise really that he can turn self-isolation on its head. Jesus in his life chose self- isolation, rejection and death in exchange that we might enjoy community, acceptance and life.
Nay Dawson, IFES Europe Regional Training Co-ordinator and leader of Passion for Evangelism, a network of female evangelists.
Learn more about the materials, events, and training of Community in a Crisis in their Facebook page, Youtube, and Twitter. Contact via email writing to communityinacrisis(at)ifeseurope.org More reflections can be found on Nay Dawson’s blog.