The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many activities online. People who used to work in brick and mortar locations now work on their laptops from home. Meetings which used to be face-to-face are now taking place via online platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. And there are a variety of virtual events: graduations, road races, and fundraisers. How many of these will continue once the virus dies down remains to be seen; however, it is safe to say we live in a different world.
As a church family, we too have taken big steps into the online world. We were already using digital means for communicating—a website, social media, email communiques. However, now we are using them much more, especially for video messaging. And, of course, offering worship services through a YouTube channel has been a HUGE step for us.
During all this change I want to offer three thoughts. First, please visit our website, https://www.journeyclinton.org/. That serves as a hub for our digital communication. In particular, I urge you to please see the “Connect with Journey Church” section. You will find it by scrolling down from the large “Journey Church” blue banner you first see when you go to our homepage. You will pass sections about our worship, our Journey Kids ministry, and “Welcome to Journey Church.”
When you find the “Connect with Journey Church” section, you will find information about our Church Connect Page, Pastor John’s Facebook live midday devotions, and Wednesday and Friday prayer meetings. You will also find a place to sign up to receive six recurring Journey Church emails:
• Church-wide events and information: periodic email messages sent on an as-needed basis. That “as-needed basis” has increased dramatically since COVID-19!
• Prayer Chain: requests submitted by Journey Church family members and sent to those who have committed to pray for these items.
• Weekly Journey Updates: an attractive, timely, and frequently interactive list of informative items pertinent to life at Journey.
• Word for the Week: a one- to two-sentence summary of the preceding sermon along with the passage to read for the next Sunday’s sermon.
• Prayer Meetings: email invitations to attend our Wednesday and Friday Zoom prayer meetings.
• Favorite Verses with Pastor Tom: a one-minute daily video devotional.
Second, help someone else with the above. If you know someone in our church family who has no internet access, call them and share the information you have learned through our digital communiques. Keep them in the loop. If you know someone in our church family who does have internet access but does not know how to do the kind of things I described above, offer to help them “get up to speed.” If you have a friend or neighbor or family member who would be blessed by our devotionals or worship services or sermons, share these things with them. Digital communications can be a strategic, far reaching, and effective means of evangelism and discipleship in this third decade of the 21st century. You can be a servant of Christ in ways you never dreamed before!
Third, in the midst of all this upheaval, remember: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God our Father is the One Who is and Who was and Who is to come (Revelation 1:8). He does not change (Psalm 102:25-27). The Lord is our Rock and our Fortress (Psalm 18:2). In Him we are safe and secure, even if the entire universe were to melt around us (Psalm 46:1-2).
And the message the Lord gave us to announce to others never changes. It is the good news that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), and, “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Praise be to God!