People can walk into our church buildings and encounter God there. But what about their kitchens and living rooms, on their morning walks, or as they’re sipping their morning coffee?
In this season where church services have transitioned to an online-only experience, many people are learning what it’s like to experience God’s very real presence outside of the church building.
The Holy Spirit has never had boundaries, and we’ve loved hearing so many stories about how God is meeting people in unexpected places during this crisis. Here are just a few of these stories that show how God continues to move in this special season.
- Mark Dean, Worship Pastor at Gateway Baptist Church in Australia, shared a story about how one of their staff members has a 90 year old grandfather who lives in a nursing home. He isn’t a Christian and is angry at any notion of God since his wife passed last year. Through Church Online, this man has attended church for the first time in 30 years and has begun conversations about faith with his grandson!
- Rick, an attender at Life.Church Online, said that he hadn’t attended church in over 17 years but he’s been attending consistently during this crisis. He said that now he’s reading his Bible consistently and feels more connected to God than he has in over 35 years!
- Brittany Brunskill, Operations Pastor at Bloom Church in Saskatchewan, Canada says that this season has been a special one for her and her kids. As a pastor and mother of five, Brittany has gotten the opportunity to attend church with her entire family, thanks to the Open Network Online Kids Services available for each age group. It has been a special season getting to worship God together with her entire family with age-appropriate curriculum for each of them!
- Susannah from Adelaide, Australia, wrote on Facebook that she was struggling one morning with anxiety taking over her thoughts, and when scrolling through her Facebook, she came upon a live stream of Life.Church Online. She sat at her dining table which had become her desk as she worked from home, and cried her eyes out during worship. She ended up surrendering her life to Jesus during that service and says that this encounter with God online changed the trajectory of her life.
- Neal Benson, Lead Pastor at Coastline Bible Church in Ventura, California, watched as his mother, who struggles with a brain injury, invited her friends from all over Southern California to join them for church online for Easter. Many other attenders at Coastline have invited family members who aren’t connected to a church to gather with them online in this season. Because people can attend church from the comfort of their own homes in this season, Neal saw many new folks log on who may not have attended church otherwise. These people heard the Gospel message, maybe even for the first time, and many have surrendered their lives to Christ in this season.
There are countless stories of families watching together in hospital rooms, spouses attending with their husbands or wives for the first time together at home, and kids whose families don’t go to church, who are able to attend church in their bedrooms.
In this season, we’ve gotten to see that there’s something special about worshipping at home—through church online.
In Exodus 3, Moses experiences God’s presence through a burning bush in the middle of the wilderness. God speaks to him, telling him to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. There’s something holy about having an encounter with God from the comfort of our homes with our family around us. God showed up in a very unexpected way for Moses and we love seeing all the ways He’s doing that in our lives today as our churches continue to meet online!
If you’re wondering how physical church and church online can continue to work together, read more here.
How can digital ministry continue on in your church beyond COVID-19? Here’s how God is preparing a church for what’s ahead.
Is your church thinking about a re-entry plan? Pastor Sam Roberts, pastor of Campus Operations at Life.Church, shares some of the steps we can take to begin to meet again and create a touchless service.
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