May 25, 2020
COVID-19: Churches are Collaborating Like We’ve Rarely Seen Before!
Desperate times call for creative and transformative measures.
Recently, we shared an article from Saturate presenting reflections on the different elements of the Church in the pandemic context, including, among others, discipleship, missionary communities and neighbourly love.
Closer to home, the churches of AEBEQ also had to reflect on their specific context throughout the measures related to COVID-19. The results are edifying, and even moving.
In fact, every week since the start of the social distancing measures that affect our gatherings, several dozen pastors have been meeting by videoconference. These leaders, representing a variety of churches, participate with surprising regularity. But it is the unprecedented level of collaboration and the desire to come together during the crisis that is striking, and above all that honours our God.
As you know, the digital conversion of community gatherings was quite a challenge in the early days of confinement.
- Pastors and churches more experienced with different technological tools offered assistance to those less versed in the field.
- Some churches joined together to combine venues and content broadcasting programs.
- In order to offer free resources to nourish the personal and community lives of Christians, a French worship program with scripture readings and prayer was created and shared on the AEBEQ website.
Supporting people with physical, emotional or spiritual needs has also been a challenge.
- Different leaders have divided up lists of phone numbers, to make sure the members of their churches are taken care of, while others do grocery shopping for vulnerable people who must stay home.
- Between churches, those best suited to do so offered such services during the week, while on Sundays it was the turn of others to share their expertise in broadcasting their gatherings.
Living the Church
This period certainly prompts every local representation of the body of Christ to question itself about how to experience church life, the pitfalls to be avoided, the truths to be remembered, and the opportunities to be seized.
- The exchange of ideas and resources between pastors and churches abounds and helps greatly.
- Many observe shortcomings and the need for change in their way of living the church.
- Forced to close down their buildings, some communities have really become aware that their church is not a location whose doors must suddenly remain locked, but rather the community of people who used to gather there a few weeks before.
- These times of reflection and exchange through videoconferencing have led many leaders to confess and to rise again with the support of their family of churches in order to work towards putting these rediscovered truths into practice within their own local families.
- This manifests itself in different ways, but the new reality is leading to new initiatives and a renewed mobilization based on a refreshed ecclesiology.
The unanimous message coming from pastors and church leaders is that God continually shows us how to live contextualized church life in the present moment, how to do it differently from our habits or past examples when necessary, how to reinvent ourselves while remaining faithful to His perfect plan, and how to foster beneficial collaboration among brothers and sisters.
Thus, we encourage you to :
- stand firm as you await the outcome of these unprecedented times.
- seek God’s face for the adjustments of your communities to their particular realities.
- not forget those who have greater or simply different needs than your own.
Let us be aware of the difficulties that many Churches encounter during this time, but also in “normal” daily life, and let us be ready to offer our help so that the local body may be a blessing for the universal body of our Saviour.
Until His return, be blessed.