Compiled by Jim Nieman and Chris Moon
“What you focus on becomes much bigger,” Dickerson said, using the above photo as an example. (Rest assured, the Eiffel Tower really is bigger than the man’s hand).
“The reality is if we focus just on the virus and our fears and our anxiety and the economy,” Dickerson said, “if we focus only on those negative things—we do have to be aware of them—but if we fully focus on them, then God who is so much bigger can actually seem a lot smaller.
“There’s a verse in the Word of God that says, “God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on him.’ . . . And I just want to encourage everyone who feel trapped at home right now, you have an opportunity to think about God like never before . . . and I’d invite you join us any weekend online at Connection Pointe.
“Really, what we do every weekend is we help you get your eyes on God so that you can see that he is bigger. Through Jesus we have a promise of eternal life. So, as frightening as death is, we don?t have to be paralyzed in fear. . . .”
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A couple who were married Saturday at Orrville (Ohio) Christian Church in front of fewer than a dozen people—mainly family members—stepped outside the church to find about 50 friends spread out across the parking lot holding congratulatory signs, cheering, and honking horns.
Dr. Jessie Gibson and Tyler O’Neal were married Saturday but limited the size of the ceremony due to the coronavirus outbreak and recommendations about social distancing, the Daily Record reported. That didn’t stop those who weren’t invited from making the day extra special.
The couple stood near the church’s front doors as a procession of cars drove past and the occupants waved and offered congratulations.
The couple is planning a full wedding ceremony for October, when the bride plans to wear her white wedding dress.
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“The Internet has already changed the game [for churches],” said senior pastor Bo Chancey. “The pandemic has just moved the needle faster and further than anyone expected.”
MCC launched its fourth campus—its online campus—three years ago. Because of the governor’s executive orders limiting crowd sizes to 50, and then to 10, online is now the church’s only functional campus.
“We try to not just get viewership; we want engagement,” said Drew Crisp, the church’s online campus pastor.
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Southeast Christian Church in Louisville has been busy assisting those affected by coronavirus.
Church leaders organized a food and supply drive on Friday at seven of the church’s campuses. A second donation drive occurred Monday, WLKY.com reported.
The church accepted drive-through donations of food, household supplies, and medical supplies like N-95 gloves and sanitizer. The items will be distributed to local food banks, shelters, and hospitals. Local workers from Furniture Fair stores helped out on Friday since they are not able to deliver furniture right now.
And on Sunday, church volunteers unloaded 40,000 pounds of chicken donated by Kroger supermarkets, according to WAVE3.com. The donation will be distributed to homeless shelters and food pantries in Kentucky and southern Indiana.
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Renew.org will host its inaugural “Wednesday Night Live” starting at 7:30 tonight Central time. The topic will be “Pandemics & Christians in History,” presented by David Young. The focus and discussion will center on how Christians throughout history have dealt with unprecedented struggles, trials, and hardships. After a TED-style talk, there will be panel discussion, followed by interactive breakout sessions. Register at Renew.org. Those who cannot join the event can register to receive a link to listen to it later.
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Crossroads Christian Church, Wintersville, Ohio, connected with Winter Drive-In theater and is planning a drive-in worship service for 8 p.m. April 11, the day before Easter.
“Even though we’re going to be isolated in our cars, there’s still something valuable and biblical about God’s people gathering,” pastor Jeff Greco told the Herald-Star. “You’ll still be able to hear each other sing [at the drive-in]. It’s powerful to know we’re all in this together.”
CCC already had a strong online presence, but now worship viewership has increased fourfold to 600 weekly. “People are telling us that they are participating, that in their living room, the kids are singing,” he said. “It’s not the same, but it’s not terrible.”
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Spire Network, in partnership with Barna, is encouraging participation in a 5-minute Weekly Pastor Poll to “share your voice and see insights on how other leaders are taking courageous action to lead their people and communities as COVID-19 disrupts life and operations.” Click here to take the poll.
Spire also encourages church leaders to visit Spireapp.network to share what you are doing at your church, in your meetings, and your regular programs with other leaders around the country.
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“The National Study on Disciple Making Churches in the USA” found fewer than 5 percent of Protestant churches in the country “have a reproducing disciple-making culture” and that many churches lack common definitions for terms like discipleship, disciple, and disciple-making.
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First Christian Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., is expanding its building to create more space for children’s ministry.
The church is constructing a 5,000-square-foot addition and renovating 8,000 square feet of its existing building, the News Enterprise reported. Work began in February. The project will cost $1.7 million.
The expansion is a result of more younger families joining the church, senior minister Stuart Jones told the newspaper. “Our median age dropped by more than a decade,” he said. “The ratio planning that went into the design of our current facility gave us room to grow, but not with a change to the age pattern of our growth.”
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The Crossing Church in Las Vegas partnered with Convoy of Hope to deliver food and supplies to smaller food pantries in its region.
The church obtained a 50-foot truck that was full of food, water, and toilet paper. The goal was to help food pantries that aren’t as visible and that may not be getting the supplies they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a time when the church is rediscovering the opportunity to actually be the church, to be a community that goes out into our community with no agenda and just says, “What are the needs that we have and how can we meet them?” Lee Coate, the church’s executive pastor, told KTNV-TV in Las Vegas.
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First Christian Church, Tuscola, Ill., collected masks to help a central Illinois hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The church accepted unused and still-packaged masks for eight hours both Monday and Tuesday, according to FCC’s Facebook page. Collected masks will be provided to personnel with Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.
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The Village Christian Church in Minooka, Ill., will host a mobile food pantry April 6.
The free pantry will enable those in need to drive up to the church, where volunteers will place food boxes in the trunk. The pantry doesn’t require proof of income, the Morris Herald-News reports.
The church is partnering on the project with the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
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First Christian Church in Columbus, Ind., has placed a cabinet in front of its Youth Center where people can leave donations—nonperishable food items, snacks, and toiletries—and folks in need of such items can help themselves. A sign on the front of the cabinet reads, “Leave what you can. Take what you need.”
The Blessing Box was established in response to unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, the Republic newspaper reported.
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Holley (Ore.) Christian Church plans to have two, and possibly three drive-in Easter services. HCC, one of the oldest churches in its area, will broadcast the services via low-frequency radio to cars and trucks in the church’s parking lot, according to the Blue Mountain Eagle.
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