Jesus Conversations in a Pandemic

by Herald of Truth

Jesus Conversations in a Pandemic

Social distancing.  No groups larger than 10.  Church online.  Or in very small family groups.  Things were/are different.  But what about when things change?  When this pandemic is more past than present?

If you believe the mission of the church is to make disciples, how do you do that in times like these?

I am convinced this is a great time to move people toward faith in Jesus.  It is a great time to grow faith in believers.

Because everyone is watching and listening.  Many on-line sermons are being listened to by three times as many people as you have in your congregations. 

Even casual conversations across the yard and the street are often heard by other neighbors.

Standing 6 feet apart and having a conversation means lots of other people hear what you say.

Lots of time to read Facebook posts.  So more people than usual see what you post.

And you know what everyone is talking about… Covid-19.  What are you doing?  What do you think?  What is going to happen?  Or how did you handle it?

And here is what I think.  People smell fear.  And people smell faith. 

So here are a couple of quick ideas for conversations.

With any conversation about the future I admit I know nothing about how this will play out or what the future will look like.  But I tell everyone I am certain who controls the future.  And it will be OK.  I even sometimes talk about the God who has delivered our family from cancer, Kawasaki, and diseases we never did have identified.  I talk about the God who provided financially when we did not know where the money would come from the next month, occasionally week, and sometimes even day.  Car wrecks walked away from.  And I tell them that is the same God who is watching over us today. 

And I tell the Daniel story of the fiery furnace.  God is able to deliver us.  But even if he does not, I will serve no other God.  Ever.  Because I sometimes tell of the times when people I love were not delivered the way I asked.  But they were delivered home.  No other gods. 

I tell stories of what church is doing.  Real church.  You know, Christians.  Not denominations.  Or congregations.  Or programs.  But what my brothers and sisters are doing.  Food left on porches.  Prayers prayed out loud from the front yard (OK — that was me, but still).  Communion supplies delivered.  Meals delivered. 

But always be honest.  I don’t act like Christians are not nervous.  Even scared.  But I tell people we are choosing faith.  Even in the face of death or illness, we know our future.  Sure we worry.  So I quote Philippians 4:6.  Joshua 1:9. 

And I still ask if anyone wants to talk about Jesus.  And if they say yes, we do.

But in small groups.  One on one.  By Facetime.  Or Marco Polo.  Or Zoom. 

But what if the one on one is someone sick and doesn’t know it yet?  Well, faith over fear.  This world is not my world. 

But I also believe in faith over foolishness.  Courageous for the gospel.  Not stupid. 

So have those conversations where everyone is listening.  Post an invitation to talk about Jesus.  Help a neighbor in the name of Jesus.

More real work of the church may be going on now that has in a long time.

Pretty exciting.

Go God.

-Steve Ridgell

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