This is a note for the whole church. But it is specifically directed at you if losing your phone would feel like losing your left foot. If the scale and quickness of the pandemic sweeping across God’s globe is unprecedented, so is the opportunity for the Internet to help us maintain and build relationships when we cannot physically be together. There is no true substitute for meeting in person, but the options offered to us through the Internet are as close as we can get.
The Holy Spirit inspired these words about local churches: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians. 4:15-16). Consider these two lessons.
1. Each member can make their own unique contribution to the building up of the church. Together, we make up the joints and parts which are the body of Christ, who is the head. And although there are many ways (“in every way”) in which we must grow up into Christ together, they are all done in love (note “in love” at the beginning and end).
2. We don’t grow up into Christ by chance, but on purpose! The phrase, “when each part is working properly” is crucial. The fact that each part can work properly does not mean each part will! If each part does not work properly, the body will not grow in every way into Christ and will not build itself up in love.
As the pandemic spreads, local churches are unable to meet physically. But thanks to modern technology, we have the ability to at least meet digitally! However, a good number of our brothers and sisters are much less used to interacting and relating to one another via the Internet and social media than others. The difference between the tech-savvy and the non-tech-savvy could lead to a church that drifts apart rather than being joined and held together.
It all comes to this: it’s time for the typical Internet user to help BCLR stay joined and held together! If each part of BCLR is going to work properly, then those who use computers, tablets and/or smartphones on a daily basis need to become joints that connect and keep different parts of the body together. In other words, the health of our body depends on helping each other stick together. So how do we do it?
Let’s help each other participate in worship services. BCLR plans to make live-streaming of services available as soon as this Sunday. Think of the people you know at BCLR. Will they know how to access the livestream on the app or the website? Do they know how to follow links? Download the BCLR app? Don’t wait to find out; ask them! Reach out to them or their loved ones and ask this simple question: “Can I help you watch the service?”
Let’s help each other gather together. BCLR plans to make teleconferencing available to Care Group, small group, and other BCLR ministry leaders so that those who cannot gather physically might be able to join digitally. As you plan to gather with groups, ask yourself this question: “Whom do I know that would normally be in this group but can’t be here physically?” Contact the other members of your group and help those who want to participate but don’t know how!
Let’s help each other stay connected and safe. Some in our body may not be able to buy themselves groceries, know how to go online to go through medical screening, or make a video call to their loved ones. The next time you pick up your phone, ask yourself, “How am I using my phone to stay connected and safe that someone else might not know about?”
As we worship, gather and serve together in the coming weeks, let’s continue growing together in love into Christ. Our circumstances have changed, but there is a lot that we can still do. It won’t happen by accident. If losing your phone would feel like losing a limb, how much worse to lose touch with fellow members of the body of Christ? So techies, help BCLR stay connected in love!