Thursday, October 1, 2020

Church Discipleship Amid The Storms Of Covid-19.

August 16, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(  COVID-19 has introduced new words and actions into our church vocabulary…. Livestreaming, Social Distancing, Facebook Live, Zoom, Cyber Services, Digital Divide, Facial Coverings, Mobile Financial Apps, YouTube Services, and Parking Lot services. Religious institutions are having to improvise, adapt, and use alternative methods to reach their respective congregations due to the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, this has become our “new normal.”

Regardless of faith, this global public health pandemic has greatly impacted the way we worship and fellowship. This article demonstrates how COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to strengthen our individual and collective relationship with God amidst these times of uncertainty.


Individual Spiritual Development

Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer. Mark 1:35 (NET)

With the closing of the church facilities, many realize that they are now personally accountable and much more responsible for their own spiritual growth and development. Old and new Christians must intentionally implement behaviors that assist the spiritual maturation process during an extended absence from the church facility and traditional worship services.

Even amid the storms of COVID-19, the church is still required to seek and save the loss and witness to one another (Luke 19:10, Matthew 28:18-20).

COVID-19 may limit our ability to fellowship and worship together; however, Christians are required to be involved in the lives of those that they seek to disciple. Discipleship is more about relationships than proximity, so even within a pandemic, we can still work to bring others closer to Christ. New and less mature believers should align themselves with those of the church who are more spiritually mature and walking closer with God. Mature believers can share church worship service links, host watch parties, and actively participate in whichever social media platform the church prescribes. As we walk with God, we become living examples for those seeking a closer relationship with him.

Collective Spiritual Development

Ultimately, faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). As the storm continues to rage on, we must continue to seek God and engage in his Word and his work and allow the Holy Spirit to complete the good work He has begun with in us.

Church’s with a structured discipleship process in place prior to the pandemic, will undoubtably continue using social media with minor adaptations. The pandemic is a great opportunity for churches to shift to a small group paradigm as we redefine the ‘new normal” like Jesus did in disbursing the 72 out to neighboring towns (Luke 10:1; Colossians 1:28). To increase discipleship across the church, leaders should facilitate accountability / prayer partners which assigns spiritually mature believers with new or less mature believers. These accountability partnerships assist with creating an atmosphere of mutual love, caring, and encouragement during these times of loneliness and uncertainty. Accountability partners reassure members since churches are not able to meet and fellowship in-person.


Discipleship as we know it, will be different because of COVID-19, nevertheless the principle of cultivating and sustaining strong Christian relationships remains the church’s focus. Self-quarantining and social distancing have presented unexpected challenges to the church’s mission of making disciples. Although we are not worshipping in large groups, we must remain determined and focused on God’s word in this pandemic season. Believers should follow Jesus’ model of praying and spending time with God to strengthen our spiritual maturity.

COVID-19 has forced the church to think outside the “box” and be creative and innovative when conducting discipleship. Those in the church, who are strong in faith and are spiritually mature, should become shining examples to new converts in a way that it will help them to grow in grace, spirit and in truth.

Written by Rev. Dr. Larry E. Thompson, Rev. Dr. James A. Cobb, Rev Henry L. “Charlie” Sanders Jr, and Deacon Glenn Davis.


One Response to “Church Discipleship Amid The Storms Of Covid-19.”
  1. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    The power of God’s COVID-19 has revealed the inherent weakness and falsity of the church which doesn’t have the power to save. It is now as it was then when religious folks rejected the reality exposed by John The Baptist, and Jesus the Christ. They executed John, and crucified Jesus.They nailed Jesus Christ to the cross and from the cross Jesus said ” father forgive them for they know not what they do. ” God alone has the power to save us. All that we can do is try to hold on struggling to survive as long as we can because we lack the knowledge to go against the will of God.This is a determined world made by God.It is God’s determination that shall prevail not ours.

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