Connecting As The Body of Christ

  Monday 6th April, 2020
  Categories: Connect Stories

Connecting As The Body of Christ

‘(Christ) makes the whole body (of Christ) fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.’ (Ephesians 4.16)

We are living through a time of seismic change. The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing is impacting our society and economy in fundamental ways affecting our daily lives and relationships. It’s disrupting the way churches, SU and local communities operate. Alongside the health, social and economic impacts, this is a profoundly spiritual time. God is at work. Jesus is building his church, shaping his Body, bringing his Kingdom.

Connecting with Jesus
Let’s reprioritise our relationship with God, cultivate a slowing with God and re-focus on his Kingdom purposes (Luke 12.31). With busy lives, we have so many things to do, so much information to take in, so much social media to engage, just so much stuff. Let’s draw aside with Jesus and spend more time just sitting in Jesus’ presence, listening to him (cf. Luke 10.38-42). You could use lectio divina to read the Bible more slowly and allow God to speak to you through his Word. Ask Jesus each day who he wants you to pray for and who to reach out to in your church, family and neighbourhood. It’s all about connecting and re-orienting ourselves to him.

Connecting with church
When we can’t meet face to face, how can we connect with, love and serve each other in Christian community? It’s awesome how many churches are developing on-line services and small groups. We also need to find ways of engaging kids intergenerationally and with their peers. We need to include people who don’t have or find it difficult to navigate technology, or are perhaps at the edge of the church community. We need to mobilise ‘each part [to do] its own special work’ at this time.

We can organise people in prayer triplets, praying with and for each other regularly. Some people might need this to be daily, especially those who live alone or have physical or mental health challenges. We can invite older intercessors onto the prayer chain, praying for pastoral needs. Yarram SUFM ran their gathering via Zoom last week – kids in their lounge rooms connecting with Jesus and each other. We can bring kids and young people together in similar ways – and not only on Sunday morning! What about encouraging your kids and teenagers to bless older people in your church with a surprise phone call or letter in the mail. Our daily social media discipleship resource, 455, is full of ideas and resources to support this.

Connecting in community
Finally, how do we connect with, love and share Good News with our neighbours in such a significant time? I put a letter in the letterboxes of each of the 40 households in our street, inviting them to join a WhatsApp group in which we can identify ways we can care for each other during the pandemic. After just a few days we have 20 households on the WhatsApp group, and people are offering to support each other in practical and creative ways. It’s amazing! I’ve encouraged a pastor who lives in our street to invite the whole street (via the WhatsApp group) to his church’s online Easter service. My next door neighbour, a mum with two primary aged kids, is going to link with all the families with younger kids to explore how they support each other over the coming months of home schooling. Her kids are going to plan something creative for Anzac Day. We don’t have to be the ones doing all the helping, but if we act as connectors and community organisers, we will see people experience God’s love.

Christ Jesus is making his whole Body fit together perfectly. Let’s join with him, drawing near to him, slowing down with him. Let’s encourage church members – of all ages – to connect and pray with each other regularly. And let’s engage our neighbours and create ways for them to experience God’s love in community life. Let each of us do our own special work during this most significant time.

— Justin, State Director

This story is part of the April 2020 issue of CONNECT. Read the latest update from our State Director here. For other stories from this issue, click on a tile below.