While most people were running from the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, some Christians at the epicenter of the virus were using their gifts and resources to minister and spread the gospel to their neighbors. History records that the early Christian Church was always at the forefront of ministry during pandemics. Christians risked their own lives in order to serve others in the name of Jesus.
Martin Luther was encouraged to leave Wittenberg in 1527 when the “Black Death” swept through the city, but he refused to leave and stated, “In such circumstances it is our duty to assist such a person and not forsake him in his plight.” The bold witness and strong faith of Christians in the face of things like COVID-19 have led to the spread of the gospel.
So, what are we to do in times like this? How about something as simple as trying to connect with your neighbors and inviting them to join you in an online small group Bible study and discussion? There are four steps to make this happen.
You need to discover your neighbors.
Click here for cards you can print, write in your information, and make sure all your neighbors get one. You can read one testimony from Levi Skipper, evangelism catalyst, about using the cards. It’s a great way to begin your connection with your neighbors by offering to help them. When they do connect with you, ask them for their email, because you want to invite them to your neighborhood group.
Another great way to discover your neighbors is through the Nextdoor app. Here’s the link (http://www.nextdoor.com/)
You need to invite your neighbors.
Before you invite your neighbors, you need secure a way to meet online. There are several available but you want to make sure you use a tool that allows interaction and not just listening to someone like Facebook Live. I would recommend ZOOM (https://zoom.us/) or Google Meet (https://gsuite.google.com/) .
Once you determine the platform you’ll be using, simply create the first meeting and send your neighbors an invite via email. You may also want to send them a text or even place a note in the mail with instructions on how to join.
You need to have good content in your group.
You’ll want to keep it very simple and basic. I would recommend that you pick from a list of well-known stories of the Bible. (Creation, Noah & the Ark, Joshua & the battle of Jericho, David & Goliath, The Fiery Furnace, Daniel in the lion’s den, etc.). Another option would be to use the parables of Jesus.
Send your group the Scripture as well as the outline for the group time.
- Paraphrase the Scripture
- Read the passage
- Ask the following:
- Who do you relate to most in the passage/topic/story?
- What did we learn about God from the passage/topic/story?
- What did we learn about humanity from the passage/topic/story?
- How do you apply this passage/topic/story in your own life?
- What is God asking you to do?
I hope this helpful, and I look forward to hearing your ideas and stories as we seek to connect with our neighbors through an online gathering.
Make sure to visit https://gabaptist.org/covid19 (or click the image labeled “Coronavirus Resources”) for the latest information and helps for doing ministry. I would also encourage you to join our group on Facebook to help with your disciple making efforts during these challenging days. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gadiscipleship/