It has certainly been a crazy couple of weeks... If you follow the Worship Notes blog, you may have noticed that last week there was no entry on Thursday! Like almost everyone in our nation, our sense of "normal" was severely disrupted as we worked diligently to find new and creative ways of serving the people of First Free. On March 15th, the staff gathered together for our first-ever streamed service. While we had been talking for quite some time about how to use this method of interacting with our people, it had been something we would do "later" and not necessarily NOW.
COVID-19 changed all of that.
We quickly worked to find creative ways of continuing to serve, even if we couldn't gather in the typical way. One of the things we value highly here at First Free is our gathering each week... we take seriously Hebrews 10:25 where we are charged to not neglect meeting together. And yet, in this crisis we are asked to physically distance ourselves from one another out of care for one another! With nothing but a cell phone and a tripod, the staff put together a service that we were able to stream out via Facebook Live. During the morning, we had over 400 views... exceeding our normal attendance on a Sunday morning!
With the distance that we are all keeping, the need for community has become increasingly present. Here at First Free, we have been working tirelessly to find ways of keeping that community! We started to utilize the Zoom Conferencing App to have prayer meeting and Life Groups together, allowing us to still be a part of each others lives, even if we aren't sharing the same space.
When the Apostle Paul was looking to preach the Gospel, he used every method at his disposal to effectively preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. I imagine if he was here in the 21st Century he would be sitting in his living room, preaching the Gospel through his smartphone. He'd be using FaceTime to meet with his co-laborers to encourage and instruct them. He'd be writing blogs so that his Church Family would be encouraged. He'd be using every tool he had to make sure that those around him knew that Jesus is Lord, that He came to redeem His people, and that through Christ - and Christ alone - they would be saved.
I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to reach out to your church family. We are still a community of believers and we still need to be in one another's lives, sharpening as iron sharpens iron. We need to ask one another (and respond honestly), "Are you OK?"
I cannot wait to see how God continues to use this unique time in our lives for His glory. I am praying for you all, and I know you echo my prayers.
For His Glory,