‘Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
Our pace, as a nation and throughout the globe, has dramatically slowed. Social distancing has caused many to feel isolated and anxiety and fear has crept into our daily norms. We, however, as Christ-followers have a longer-term perspective. We have great opportunities to lean into Jesus, both personally and with others, without having to leave our homes. Here are a few ways we can make the most of this time.
- E-DEVOTIONS If you haven’t already, visit the website of your favorite Bible teacher, pastor, or ministry to see if they offer a daily devotional. Look for a sign up form to enter your email address if you wish to have it sent to your inbox. This is a perfect time to receive a daily dose of encouragement. Better yet, start a Bible reading plan on one of the many platforms such as the YouVersion or Bible Gateway.
- SERMONS/PODCASTS There are a host of sermons from around the globe available for free on church websites and podcast apps. Ask your friends who they love to listen to and swap recommendations. A few podcast apps to help you begin your search are: Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
- WORSHIP Explore your favorite worship recordings on YouTube, then share with your friends on social media.
- BIBLE STUDY Work through an online Bible study. RightNow Media is offering its massive video library for free or if you feel like you’re up for a challenge, take an e-course through the great British scholar, N.T. Wright. The courses may cost a few bucks but I doubt you’ll regret the investment.
- READ/LISTEN If you have a library card, many public library systems have digital content available to download to your Amazon Kindle, Overdrive, Libby, or Hoopla apps. You may be surprised to learn that many public libraries have excellent collections of Christian books in both e-reader and audiobook formats.
- ATTEND CHURCH Does your church stream the worship service online each week? Join in the chat if that’s a feature offered. Host a Facebook “watch party” and attend virtually together with your friends.
- PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER Look in the chat for those who share prayer requests and commit to pray for them throughout the week.
- MEET AS A GROUP Meet up online with your small group or start a discussion group with new people you’ve wanted to connect with. The many features, ease of use, and free basic account has made Zoom a favorite for small groups. Facebook Live has become a favorite tool for Sunday school teachers—especially since less tech-savvy folks are typically already on Facebook and don’t have to learn new skills. Below is a helpful chart of various free and paid platforms to host your online groups.
In his book, The Land Between, pastor and author, Jeff Manion draws out what we sometimes miss. In the difficult passages of life, we have an opportunity—a fork in the road. We can take the passage of fear, bitterness, anger, and resentment or the path that involves growth and gratitude. As followers of Christ, we can choose to have joy knowing that the author of our faith can use this as a fruitful season of personal and ministry growth.
Michael and Brett serve together at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. Michael as Online Campus Pastor and Brett as Director of IT.