Being Church in a viral world
When I was a boy, Corona was a fizzy drink! Today it’s a word associated with a disease which has completely changed the way in which the world works and we live.
A tiny particle has caused stock markets to crash, nations to shut down and forced millions into isolation, Coronavirus knows no geographical frontiers, allows no cure and recognises no distinctions in race or status. Powerless before it, the best we can do is wash our hands, stay indoors and wait for a vaccine.
How does the Christian and the Church deal with the fears such a pandemic creates?
Interestingly, the Chinese word for crisis is made up of two characters: danger and opportunity. Just like every other challenge in life then, Covid- 19 is an opportunity to discover more of God and what it means to be His people.
So over the next few months, we will have the space to practically, lovingly and creatively express what it means to be a Christian community in a viral world. Pray that the spiritual DNA of Lansdowne will become even more important to us. Pray that no one will feel isolated.
Pray that in the risks which every organisation is facing right now, we will keep the main thing of Christ and the gospel, the main thing. Pray that all our groups and ministries will adapt quickly and effectively in their discipleship, pastoral care and mission.
Everything is and feels different. But much hasn’t changed. The Sovereign Lord is still on the throne of the universe. Jesus is still building His Church. And we still have opportunities to win neighbours, friends, family and colleagues to Christ, by our acts of compassion, words of truth and lives of quiet confidence.
Being a real Church in a world of social distancing is not going to be easy. But What’s App groups, online resources, video conferencing, Facetime chats, Google Hang Outs and the old fashioned phone call (!), are going to be really important ways of communicating and connecting.
At the centre of our corporate life will be, as always, our Sunday gathering for prayer, praise and preaching. We will develop our live stream capability, so that an interactive Online Church experience will become the weekly hub for our shared stories of hope, faith and love. Be patient with us. We will be learning as we roll out a bespoke service.
So I want to encourage you to make the most of our 10:30 morning service. Don’t play catch up, join us live if you can. Tell others to follow too. There’s no pubs, theatres, sports, shops to engage people in the same way. Life has stopped. People are indoors. Encourage them to make Lansdowne Live the place to be!
Peter Baker | Senior Minister