I’m sitting in a desk chair, streaming the service for my church from my home. It is the third service we’ve had since not being together in the church building. I’m missing seeing the members, the crowded church. I’m watching the service on Facebook on my phone at the same time and decide to click “share.” By the end of the service, twelve non-members had started watching with me! And I suddenly realized an opportunity we all have during this time of isolation.
Our pastors are working hard to continue bringing the Word of God to their members by internet, email, and phone calls. For many of them, it has been a steep learning curve, trying to figure out new technology they may not have used before. But I see my Facebook page flooded with devotions, sermons, Sunday school lessons, and church services, and it reinforces what I already know: that our pastors and members care deeply about their faith.
During this time, we all have a rare opportunity. Our friends and family members who don’t believe in Jesus Christ as their only Savior are also hurting along with us. They are suffering with isolation, job losses, financial problems—the same things we are concerned with. What they don’t have, though, is the comfort faith brings during this time. And now is a good time to share the faith with them.
If you are generally an introvert like me, the idea of knocking on doors or making phone calls for church evangelism programs may terrify you. But times have changed and so have the opportunities. For example, if your pastor sends you an email devotion or sermon, think of your friends and family who might need to read it and forward it to them. If your church is providing online services, share the links with others. If your church services or devotions are on Facebook, click “share.” If it is a live service, start a “watch party.” You will be amazed at some of the people who will join in, even for a short time. Be kind if someone posts a snarky comment on something you share. Try not to be argumentative. Arguments on the internet just don’t work.
We are about to enter Holy Week, and there will be an abundance of material available to you that will comfort you and provide strength during this time. What an amazing time in the church year when we focus on all that our Savior, Jesus Christ, has done: His suffering, death, and resurrection! All of it done for you! And for your neighbor! As we have opportunity, let’s share this most important of all news with our family and friends, especially now when it is needed so desperately.
Rev. Paul Fries,
ELS Communication Director