The Church Beyond the Walls
Who would have thought that one day our church buildings will be closed for people who want to gather for fellowship and congregational worship? COVID-19 and the precautionary measures our government imposed truly brought the church into uncharted territory.
Like many of you, I also took time to discern what God is trying to say through this unique situation especially to the church. Am I the church only when I am in our church building? Can miracles happen beyond the walls of the church? Can I still minister to someone when my brothers and sisters in the Lord are not around?
There’s one vivid voice that I have been hearing since these quarantines and self-isolation began: “The church is not the building; we are the church.”
In this article, I want to share with you some ways through which we can effectively minister to others especially in this time of crisis:
- Spend time with your family.
Because of the fast-phase society in which we live, many are neglecting the value of quality time with family. Let’s not forget that our first responsibility in the ministry is our family. We are first called to reach our Jerusalem – our home. Therefore, take this opportunity to pray with your family. If you are not living with them, call them and try to share the Word of God with them.
- Appreciate the essential workers in your community.
There are many ways to do this. For instance, if your community has a Facebook page, you can post a photo or a video that makes them feel that there is a church in their community that appreciates them. You can also buy some gift cards and hand them out to the workers whenever you go to a grocery store or a bank.
- Invite someone to your local church’s online service.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached today like never before. Everyone is staying at home most of the time. Almost everyone is on their Facebook at least an hour a day. This is the perfect time to sow seeds of faith in the hearts of many people. Start a watch party with your friends or relatives. Do not underestimate what God can do in an online service.
- Get groceries for an elder.
There might be many seniors in your communities who are considered the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Why don’t you call some elders and ask if they want you to pick their groceries up for them?
- Post encouraging news.
It is true that there’s countless bad news today especially on social media platforms. While we do not deny what is really happening in our world today, we can be a beacon of hope to this world by simply posting something positive on our social media accounts. Why don’t we post a Bible verse or something humorous? Instead of complaining, why don’t we report the great things that God is doing in the church today?
- Call your pastor and church leaders.
This is an unprecedented time not just for the whole but also for the church. Your pastor has never experienced leading a church during a pandemic. Your leaders have no previous experience reaching out to a world that was asked to stay at home. Many ministers are trying new things just to feed the flock. This season is different and difficult. It would be great if we could pray and ask the Lord to bless them with wisdom, strength, and resources in this time of crisis.
I am sure that there are many other ways to minister to someone during this time of crisis. May we be reminded that the world is looking at us. We are a city set on a hill. Let’s give the world an impression of what the church really is. May our families, our communities, and our world see that we can still be the church beyond the walls of our buildings.
Raymart was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. As a third-generation apostolic believer, his exposure to the things of God developed a burning desire to be involved in the ministry. Three years ago, his desire moved him to Canada to become an international Bible college student at Northeast Christian College. He is a licensed minister with the Atlantic District of UPCI, the section 2 youth representative of the district, youth pastor of Ripples United Pentecostal Church, and a graduate school student at Urshan Graduate School of Theology pursuing Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (Intercultural Studies).