Online Fellowship and Prayer

For brothers and sisters to have fellowship and Sunday school during this circuit breaker period, the Church made use of video conferencing methods to resume Sunday school lessons on 18 April 2020. Following that, the church also moved to online prayer meeting on 21 April 2020. We thank God that we can partly resume our church life with the help of technology. Have we not had live streaming services or simple and free video sharing platforms, under these circumstances where physical meeting is not possible, church life would have come to an immediate halt. Of course, not having these technologies would not hinder one to one interaction. We still can care for our brothers and sisters individually (and we must continue doing so). Interacting as a group, however, is still an important part of church life. The church is originally a big group, a spiritual family that belongs to God. “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22). Here, apostle Paul likens God’s people to a holy temple. Such a magnificent temple is formed with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone, apostles and prophets as the foundation, and lastly us—a combination of individual believers representing different groups. Therefore, Christians cannot be lone rangers nor can they only meet in small groups and not participate in church activities. Participating in church activities such as Sunday worship services, Sunday School lessons, prayer meeting, cell group fellowships et cetera, is an important avenue with which we maintain everyone’;s relationships as well as continue our individual’s holistic spiritual growth.

After pausing Sunday School for almost a month, being able to join brothers and sisters for online Sunday school and prayer meeting is a joy. Through the lessons taught by teachers, supplemented by everyone’s life experiences, we do not just learn bible truths, but also experience God. In the intercession prayer with sharing after Sunday School, we understood each other’s current situations and learn to intercede for each other throught prayer. Let us experience the power of prayer together. We thank God that all have enthusiastically joined online Sunday school. Although sharing online does not come as naturally as when we met physically, it is still much better than no fellowship. In the beginning, I was worried that the Evergreen brothers and sisters may not overcome the technology barrier, namely, online fellowship. Yet, until now, Evergreen Sunday school’s attendance has been almost 100% every week. Furthermore, some elderly brothers and sisters also joined the online prayer meetings on Tuesdays. These elderlies’ diligence and the help that their family members and friends render them made my worries unnecessary. At the same time, this greatly encouraged me.

Currently, aside from online Sunday worship services, we have also resumed other online church activities including all Adult, Evergreen and Youth Sunday Schools, as well as Youth Fellowship, Young People Fellowship and Tuesday prayer meetings. Our intention was to give brothers and sisters a channel for fellowship during this circuit breaker period. Thank God that the attendance rate has been good, especially prayer meeting. Perhaps, usually after work, many could not make it in time to church for prayer meeting. Now, however, we have more time and it is more convenient because there is no need to travel. Thus, the number of church members attending prayer meeting has increased by around 50%. I am looking forward to brothers and sisters who have recently started attending prayer meeting to continue, even after this circuit breaker period, to support each other in prayer. The church may also consider providing an online option for prayer meeting in the future. This would allow brothers and sisters who are unable to rush to church during the weekdays the opportunity to attend prayer meeting. Of course, we still face the limitation that online interactions are not as good as physical interactions. We can, however, do our part by coming online 3-5 mins before, ensuring that our microphones are in working condition, and finding a quiet place to go online. When you are online, concentrate on the meeting and do not do other things, such as browsing the web, et cetera. Treat it as if you are in church. Share and ask questions. There is no need to be self-conscious because fellowship is a platform intended for everyone to share and ask questions.

In view of the current situation, when the church would be allowed to open for brothers and sisters to gather as before is still uncertain. By early June, our online formats of worship services and fellowship may be extended to a few more weeks or even a few more months. Hence, for those brothers and sisters who have yet to come online, join us quickly, as we are looking forward to hearing you share and to pray for you.