We are living in uncertain times. Some days it looks like our churches may soon re-open. Other days it looks like more restrictions are on the horizon. We continue to pray for healing for people around the world. We pray for our leaders as they do their best to navigate all this uncertainty and seek to promote public health. And most of us find our emotions rolling back and forth between hopeful and discourage and then tired of it all and then hopeful again…and back and forth we go. It feels like we are adrift in a small boat in a big storm…without an anchor…without a purpose.
I’ve been reading bible passages about God’s people who also lived in uncertain times. And the bible is filled with people who faced undesirable circumstances. And I’ve noticed that every time God speaks to his people, he says a similar theme in various ways, “do not be afraid. I am with you. Be strong and courageous. By faith, put your hope in me and not your circumstances.” The more I read these bible stories of God’s people who endured uncertain situations, the more I see how God turns problems into opportunities. He is our anchor in the storm. He has a purpose for us in uncertain times!
Daniel chapter 3 is the story of Daniel’s three buddies, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their normal worship practices were severely restricted by their government. But God was with them in their adversity. He was with them through the blazing fire. He delivered them. And the result was that the entire community acknowledged that “…no other god can save in this way!”
Esther chapter 4 is the story of a society growing increasingly hostile toward God’s people. But God had set in motion a plan and had placed his people in key positions of influence “…for such a time as this”, verse 14.
I could go on and on citing bible stories, but Joseph sums it up best. Joseph had endured many undesirable set-backs in his life. He was mistreated by his brothers. He was falsely accused and imprisoned. He was isolated and forgotten. But God was with him through every uncertain circumstance. And by faith, Joseph kept his hope in God. God eventually turned Joseph’s problems into opportunities to minister to far more people. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph tells his brothers who had previously mistreated him, “you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
That is very encouraging! Perhaps God has a plan for us and has placed us in our ministry leadership roles “…for such a time as this”. Perhaps God intends to use these uncertain times to save many lives. Perhaps God is not merely waiting. Perhaps God is ready for people to turn their hearts to him and discover that he is the only solid rock in these uncertain times. Perhaps God has given us the technology to take the good news of Jesus outside the four walls of our church buildings. Perhaps God has appointed us to expand our ministry processes to engage new people in virtual ways. This could be the opportunity for a great expansion of God’s Kingdom here on our uncertain earth.
Over the past five months, we have seen churches do an incredible job of streaming church services online. Many have taken their small groups online very effectively too. But now, many have begun asking themselves “how can we engage new people effectively online? What did we do in our physical spaces that we could also do virtually?” They have begun looking at their ministry engagement processes and are expanding these using online technology. They are exploring expanded ways to provide online:
- New Guest identification and follow-up
- New Believers identification and follow-up
- Pastoral Care & Prayer Request follow-up
- Small Group interest and placement
- New Membership Class online registration
- Community Service opportunity sign-ups
- New Leader training
- Children’s Ministry Curriculum online
- New Family identification and follow-up
- Giving online, by text and via mobile phone app
Many churches are taking this time to update their church management system (ChMS) database to insure they have reliable ministry information such as accurate people records, membership statuses, involvement visibility and more. And our team at FellowshipOne | Ministry Brands has a full suite of integrated solutions available to empower your ministries. Our team has been hard at work developing service planning, new integrated Giving powered by Kindrid, new registration forms, mass messaging through email and text messaging, integrated background checks, integrated church websites, and so much more.
Our ministry is to serve your ministry. So contact your FellowshipOne Church Success Partner directly or email our team at CSP@FellowshipOne.com. We look forward to helping you use ministry technology to virtually reach isolated people and help them engage within your church community!