COVID-19 has broken precedence with its highly contagious nature and ability to spread so quickly across the world. We have never seen anything like this. Yet I cannot help but think, there is one thing that should spread faster than the Coronavirus: the Gospel.
There has been so much focus on preparing for the Coronavirus and churches have scrambled to ensure that church services stream uninterrupted. The call for social distancing and home-lockdown has caused us to be more isolated than we ever have before.
However, regardless of the pandemic at hand, the church has always risen to meet challenges by giving more Gospel, not less. Truly, the answer is not more church services online, but more Gospel saturation, and has there ever been a time in recent history when people needed good news more than now?
Social distancing may change the way we share the Gospel, but it should not change the fact that we share it. Here are eight ways that you can continue to share the Gospel during the Coronavirus epidemic.
Serve those in need.
There are thousands of families in need right now. We are all well aware that the elderly or feeble are most susceptible to the worst effects of COVID-19. Call your neighbor and ask if they need groceries. Spring is here and the grass is growing again -- mow your neighbor’s yard for them. Practice proper distancing practices when serving, but showing love during this time is sure to land a conversation in which you can tell them why you are doing this: your hope is Jesus and as a follower of Jesus you do what he did -- serve people regardless of the circumstances.
Also remember, one of the best ways to love your neighbors right now is to practice the guidelines medical experts have given.
Utilize social media.
People are most likely on social media more than ever as they stay at home. People are getting bored and constantly turning to Facebook, instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok to cure their boredom. What would it look like to be that one weird person on social media that takes this opportunity to encourage others rather than spread fear? Why not share a personal testimony on social media, explaining that though you are taking the suggested precautions regarding the Coronavirus, you are not living in fear, because, “God gave us not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Salvation is more than security after death, it is hope now.
Use your phone.
I’m sure people are on their phones more than ever, but I wonder how many people are using their phones for God’s glory right now. I went through my contacts the other day to find everyone I knew who was in the medical profession, sent them a text letting them know I was praying for them -- regardless of whether they follow Christ or not. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of contacts in your phone. You have extra time now. Call them. Text them. FaceTime them. Let your phone be an instrument of God’s glory and a conduit for the Gospel during this time.
Create virtual support groups.
Did you know there are tons of free video conferencing available during this time? A quick Google search will provide you plenty of options to do so. A friend of mine decided to start a COVID-19 support group. She hosts a video chat a few times a week and anyone is invited. When they log on, she just talks to them and asks everyone to find things to be thankful for during this time and ways to encourage others. It feels normal to anyone, regardless of whether they are a believer or not. However, she always prays for others and shares the Gospel with them. Do you remember how nearly the entire country turned to prayer after 9/11? What makes you think people would be any less resistant now. People are scared. Offer support, encouragement, virtual engagement, prayer, and the Gospel.
Use your gifts.
Everyone has a unique gift that they do not get to spend a lot of time doing. Some people are wood craftsmen. Some can sew or knit. Some can draw or paint very well. Some are just amazing encouragers. Whatever your gift is, use it with the extra time right now and use it spread joy to others. Use it as a conduit of the Gospel. If you wood burn frequently, why not mail a wood plaque to someone who is having a hard time with a Bible verse engraved on it? If you sing, why not record a video of you singing a Gospel song on social media, or have a porch concert as we have seen some do in Italy.
Play video games.
This sounds weird, but did you know some of the tightest knit and fast growing communities in the world are already in virtual spaces? Video game servers are hosts to millions of people from across the world that have never met in real life, but become great friends by playing games together. So go ahead, download Fortnite and go crazy. There will be thousands of opportunities to share the Gospel with people through these games.
Use snail mail.
Few things are as special now as handwritten notes sent via snail mail. In a world where people can call or text others whenever they would like, hand-written cards sent through the mail is a lost art. What time is better than now to restart this tradition? No one hates getting cards in the mail. Not only will it encourage others, but why not share the Gospel with them, or at least invite them to talk about the hope you have during these trying times.
Pray and fast for opportunities to share.
I hope we are all spending some of the extra time we have in prayer. Yet, as the grocery stores have struggled to maintain certain food staples, it seems like an opportune time to fast. Starting to run low on food and don’t want to make the trip to the grocery store yet? Fast for a day or more. Ask God to give you opportunities to share the Gospel. I prayed this prayer the other day and a friend I have not heard from in awhile texted me soon after asking questions about my faith. Maybe he would have texted anyway, but I think prayer had something to do with it!
These are unique times, but they are no reason we should stop sharing the Gospel. So go forth in the appropriate ways and make disciples. May many be able to say in years to come, “I became a Christian during the Coronavirus.”