“In Chains but the Gospel Runs Free “
“Blair on air” was with us last Sunday morning. At least I think he nicknamed himself that. Blair on air was part of a very large online Church community that logged into and enjoyed Lansdowne Live.
I watched it all happening on a computer screen myself, from my socially isolated position in church at Woodbury Avenue, before standing up to preach to a huge congregation of six!
There were six hundred and more online, in front rooms, kitchens and conservatories, on laptops, mobiles and TV screens. Some no doubt drank coffee while some watched in their pyjamas. Eventually 1600 people viewed all or part of the service before we’d finished.
It all shows the remarkable power of technology to reach a much bigger audience than any previous Sunday. We were joined of course by many from other churches who like us had to close their building, but unlike us had no way to quickly turn themselves into a live streaming church.
Many others across the UK did. They have made the most of the opportunity that enforced isolation has given Christians to communicate the message in new and creative ways. In this digital age, internet based media platforms and channels are increasing all the time.
For example, my daughter and Son in Law have been videoing morning and evening prayers from their kitchen on You Tube Live to their scattered congregation in Worcester.
And “ Blair on air” ,who joined us on Sunday, is actually Blair Crawford, President of Hope Fm. His community Christian radio station, whose studio is only five mins walk from Woodbury Avenue along the bridal path to Yeoman’s Way, is a great resource. Check out all they are are doing at www.hopefm.com
The Apostle Paul knew something of the freedom that prison gave him to communicate the gospel to new audiences – the Roman guards! He was in chains but the message was running free in Rome as a result. Writing to Timothy and once more in prison, Paul said “ I am suffering, bound in chains. But the word of God is not bound”.
This has got to be the way Christians and the Church see all of life, especially now. One great big, wide open door for the gospel, has appeared in a context of lock down and social isolation. Will you pray this week- and prayer means we never need to be be socially distant from God- that He will bless this imprisonment of ours to His glory.
You can find the latest operational update here. Most significant, because of the most recent government guidelines, is that we’re not able to offer “ Lansdowne Live “ this coming Sunday in the same way as last. Don’t worry, there will be a service and the Church will be online, so be ready to join together at 10:30 as before and tell others too.
We are working on a longer term solution for Sundays after that. Please be patient with us.
New additions to our online resources are: a devotional pause in the day for prayer and reflection. Look out for that. We’ll notify you soon when it’s going out and again tell others to access it.
We’re also producing a weekly video update called The Briefing which will share some of the amazing stories that are happening across the Lansdowne Church Community and give you some key pointers to prayer.
Finally we are generating a thought provoking blog, called Going Viral.
This is intended to be a guide to deeper biblical reflection on some of the many social, theological and cultural issues which the Covid -19 pandemic has generated.
As Christians we need to be equipped with a world view that enables them to be ready to give an answer for the hope they have.
I hope you can make use of all these resources.
Be safe, stay at home, spread the Word and save lives!
Peter Baker | Senior Minister