Baptists during the pandemic – what is God saying to us?
General Secretary Lynn Green and Council moderator Seidel Abel Boanerges share feedback from Baptist Union Council
Dear Baptist family,
As we gathered from across Baptists Together last week at Council we shared stories of what God has been doing through our churches and colleges for the last 18 months.
We were greatly inspired and encouraged by these stories, particularly, the innovation and creativity shown by our churches in sharing the love of Jesus in their local and online communities. You can read more here and add your own story using the #BaptistsDuringThePandemic hashtag, or send it (article/audio/video) to us at email@example.com.
As we listened to each other’s stories we were also listening for what God was wanting to say to us. The first thing to say is that Council recognises the HUGE challenges that our churches, colleges and leaders have faced. Thank you for your perseverance and diligence in serving one another during these difficult times. We want to honour that and express our heartfelt thanks.
Following this message of gratitude, this is what Council sensed God was saying to encourage us…
The pandemic hasn’t surprised our faithful God and he has been with us – we have been thrown out and shaken up but we have survived and sometimes even thrived!
It turns out that God was already out there and ahead of us in our communities! Let’s build on all the incredible Kingdom connections we have developed, deepened and discovered
Celebrate the incredible work that has already been done. We praise and thank God for the commitment, perseverance, and creativity shown by our Baptist family to serve our respective communities. Recognise and applaud our tech teams for their amazing work which sometimes might be taken for granted.
We are not through this yet! Many are exhausted and emotional and financial resources are low. Be kind to yourself and to others. There is a time to ‘do things’ and a time to ‘rest and recover’. Make sure you take time to Rest and have peer support in place.
It is okay not to have all the answers. Listen to the Lord and be attentive to let God show you the way forward
Think beyond rotas and getting back to how things were. What does it mean to be followers of Jesus now? Are you ready to embrace adventure?
Be creative – to express what we have experienced, to inspire innovation, to embrace the digital revolution
Be mindful of how digital has improved access and connection for many people, especially disabled people
Take courage – to live in this new landscape, to use what God has given you and trust that that is enough, to have confidence in the Gospel, and to be open to asking more difficult questions
Lean into the gifts of who we are as Baptists – Christ-centered, mission hearted, adaptable, diverse, grassroots communities who are beautiful and yet have so much potential!
We thank everyone who has responded to our request for Baptist stories during the pandemic. As you may have noticed, it is a very long list!
Praise God. We hope that you are encouraged by these stories and the feedback. May God bless you as you continue your ministry in serving people for Christ.
Read the full Council report here.