Fellowshiping With Other Believers During the Coronavirus COVID-19 – Use Video Conferencing to Study God’s Word
The last 6 weeks has been a challenging time here in China. Because of the coronavirus, meetings are canceled, including religious meetings. My family has been staying almost exclusively at home during this time. But we are commanded in Hebrews 10:24-25 to “not give up meeting together.” Desperate times call for creative measures.
I had heard of Zoom and used it a little bit as a video conferencing tool. Now the time had come to dig in and figure out what this software had to offer. Could I use it to hold virtual meetings with small group Bible studies or with church. The answer is a resounding “yes!”
Our small group study has been meeting through Zoom every week for over a month. Nothing beats face to face, but the incredible features and quality offered in the modern world now for video conferencing come in a close second. Not only has our small group studied through chapters of the Bible together, but the international fellowship here has also been using Zoom to hold Sunday services. This past Sunday we had our first online communion celebration with each member preparing their own elements at home.
Here are a few of the benefits of online meetings:
- No commute time
- Join when you are sick or it is not convenient to go out (a mother who gave birth joined a Bible study just days later online!)
- Start on time. Our small group studies generally started late because people were late due to bad traffic and long commute times. We have actually had longer periods of studying online than face to face.
- Long distance meetings. Several people have been joining our online meetings from across the world. These are people who moved or were out of town, but still wanted to fellowship with their friends and study together.
- Watch your kids (from home) while joining the study.
- Zoom software allows for screen sharing, whiteboards, PPT presentations, and small group breakout rooms for discussion.
I am not suggesting that believers stop their face to face meetings in favor of video conferencing. Some things are difficult to do online such as worship. But we should be making use of modern technology to spread the gospel. Churches and Bible study groups can creatively make use of tools like these to reach further with the gospel just like radio and TV in the past.
As I have studied through Paul’s epistles, I notice that he is very good at following up with people. He writes letters to encourage them in the faith. Letter writing was tedious and delivering them was even more burdensome, but he did it because it was important. Now we have even better tools to follow up with believers who are far away.
Our international fellowship has students from across the 10/40 window. We are planning to launch a ministry to follow up with those students who have returned to their home countries through Zoom. During these times we can offer gospel tool training, equipping, prayer meetings, and discipleship.
Here are a few creative uses of Zoom for gospel purposes:
- Reach into restricted regions such as the Middle East and Muslim countries.
- Invite people who are stuck at home to join your Bible studies.
- Have a mid-week online prayer service.
- Continue meeting during times like the coronavirus.
If you are interested in joining an online Bible study or receiving training in evangelism and discipleship please contact me. Also, sign up for a Zoom account and begin exploring ways to use this technology for spreading the gospel by making disciples of all nations.
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