Last night we had our first International Online Video Conferencing Bible Study and it was a huge success. Fifteen people took part with representatives from the U.S. and Canada. It was a meeting that would have been “illegal” — or at least not recommended in a home, church or workplace due to restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak — but was perfectly safe and enjoyable online. And except for touching and hugging, it had all the elements of an in-person meeting.
It was “church.” It was better than “church.” When do you get to interrupt the pastor during the sermon in church? When does the pastor get to ask a question during the sermon and wait for someone to come up with an answer? And when someone does speak, when do they get the floor? We laughed. We cried. We prayed. We even sang together. We’ve got church so locked up in a building, a service, and a Sunday morning that we fail to realize that we are the church, and whenever, however we gather, we are having church, or at least letting the church be the church.
We had what I call an inductive Bible study. It’s not based as much on my teaching as it is on my questions that open a discussion on the main points I’m trying to make from the lesson, so everyone takes part. I would never have thought such a thing was possible online, but it is.
How is it that I feel so much closer to these people than I did prior to last night? I saw them. I can still see their faces now. My screen was like a grid with a face in every square. And each face had a name. Better than name tags. (You can’t read name tags in a crowd.)
It took a pandemic to discover we had been put in place for this moment. And I have a feeling this is going to lead to something much bigger than we ever imagined.
The scriptures say that God works everything out to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). What good has come out of this state of emergency so far for you? I certainly don’t want to belittle sickness or loss of life, but the verse does say “all things” and that sounds like everything eventually — the good and the bad. So write me and let me know what good has come out of this “bad” for you. Meanwhile, put it in your calendar — next Wednesday, 6pm PDT. We’ll get you the link and the instructions for getting on. Can’t wait to SEE you!
The whole world is facing the same invisible enemy and is feeling the same fears and anxieties and uncertainties. Won’t you pray alongside us? Likewise, we are here for you 24/7. Send us your prayer requests (see below), and along with Pastor Merv Keck and his ministry of Prayer Warriors, we will pray for you, asking only that you keep your eyes wide open in a state of expectancy as we experience together how the power of our Lord Jesus Christ is made evident in your life.