Four opportunities the virus gave the local church

There is no doubt the world is in a state of panic and fear.  Often our immortality forces us to  face our frailty. This virus shows us that intellect, money, followers on Facebook and the Gram, and prestigious platforms can't keep us from the struggles and pressures around us.  It has shown us through our frailty that we need someone more powerful than us to speak into our lives and help us get through difficult seasons such as this. This virus has also opened doors of opportunities for the local church to help those in need and living in fear.

Because of the growing number of people staying home, you will see a significant increase in the digital world, which can bring up online conversations within your circle of influence. We will begin to see an increase in a high-tech and low touch world as this pandemic unfolds. Here are four opportunities that you have to advance the Kingdom of God during this pandemic crisis.

Opportunity #1 Gospel Conversations: 
Many are living in fear right now, your neighbors, friends, and maybe even your family. However, this is a perfect time to open up a discussion on what is going on? You can be the bridge to move people from fear to faith. God told a leader named Joshua to be strong and courageous by meditating day and night on the Word of God. You must increase listening  to God's Word in times like this. Here is a great resource to help you. The Daily Audio Bible. God will use you to be the light in someone's darkness when you point them to Christ.

Opportunity #2 Clean Hands: 
With toilet paper and hand sanitizer disappearing off the shelves and a call to constantly keep our hands clean, we have the opportunity to sanitize our hearts before Almighty God. In Psalm 24:3-4, we read,  

"Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not appealed to what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully."

The holy place is the place of God, and we must be clean before him. God tells us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  Now is the time to not just clean your hands, but clean your heart before Jesus and give your life to him. Stop now and make sure you are right with God.

Opportunity #3 Contagious Generosity:
If there is any time to be generous, it is now. Being contagious is a bad thing but being contagiously generous is a great thing. There are so many ways to support others through the local church. The church is the vehicle for the hope of the world. Opportunities like setting up recurring giving for your local church (CityUnited.church) is a great way to keep helping the church move ahead with the mission to help its community. Moving to a digital platform is a  great option to continue to be contagiously generous. Also, be generous with those around you as well.  Take the time to check on your neighbors and the elderly in your community.  Ask your local church what you can to do help in this time of need.

Opportunity #4 The Online Platform:
The online platform is spiritual real estate.  Many churches are hosting church house watch parties to keep the numbers small while keeping people connected.  Pastors, record your messages ahead of time and use it to engage up to three times more people than may ever walk through your doors.  In a pandemic, truth will always shine through the fear and darkness. Use this time to engage in the Bible and find hope in the Word of God. Here is a way to connect online at City United Church.

God will use you to bring your faith into a fearful season and lead others to Jesus if you are willing.  How are you going to use this time to engage a fearful generation? 

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