In the initial days and weeks of shutdowns across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches, ministry leaders, and organizations grappled with how to be the church dispersed. Instantly, ministry leaders had to learn not only how to deliver a sermon digitally but wrestled with how to build needed community when God’s people could not gather. At Gateway Seminary, our strong emphasis on online education that seeks to not just inform, but transform, has provided us many years of theological, theoretical, and practical tools for developing community and content from a distance. Our faculty have been delivering biblical content and fostering community with students from around the world for well over a decade. It was out of the great need we witnessed among churches and from our own understanding of online education that we felt compelled to create helpful, instructive, and encouraging resources for the dispersed church.
Christians have risked their lives in caring for the sick and dying throughout history. Dr. Rodrick Durst cites multiple historical accounts pointing to the sacrificial ethic of the church in times of plagues.
Dr. Kelly’s church serves about 75 to 80 members, which includes a sizable deaf community. He shares the action steps his church took in caring for and communicating with their deaf community during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Coronavirus pandemic could have further complicated reaching Mormons with the gospel. Instead, Gateway student Tim Peery has found the opposite true.
Churches faced adversity during the coronavirus lockdowns, and many tried various strategies to survive. Pastor Brian Simms at CrossPointe Church was not afraid to make any necessary changes and ended up yielding unexpected growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced churches to use social media to connect with members and teach scripture. Dr. Kelly gives a few suggestions on how to use Facebook as an effective medium for bible study.