Coronavirus Updates

At home but not alone: How the church community can stay connected despite the coronavirus

by Justine Ocampo // February 6, 2020, 3:43 pm

Gathering during coronavirus - Featured

You don’t have to cut yourself off from community even if you find yourself stuck at home. In times like these, the Body of Christ needs to band together in prayer and love.

Don’t forget to reach out to those who are in isolation too! Here are some ways we can do just that. 

1. SYNCHRONISE A TIME TO PRAY TOGETHER

Not being able to meet in person shouldn’t stop us from praying altogether. It’s as simple as gathering a group of friends, and arranging a time to pause your day and pray.

Compile a prayer list on your group chats, and set an alarm or send messages to each other as a reminder to pray. You could even take it a step further by sending voice-recorded messages of your prayers for each other! 

As 2 Corinthians 1:11 says, praying together can make a difference to the situation, and knowing that others are praying alongside you at the same moment can spur you on as well.

2. DISCUSS DEVOTIONALS THROUGH APPS

Prayer isn’t the only way you can stay connected with your cell group members or ministry mates. Consider letting the Word of God be an anchor by embarking on daily devotions together in a more guided and intentional manner. 

There are several online resources for devotionals that you can easily tap. One example is Living Life Journal’s Telegram bot, which you can add into a Telegram group chat with those you want to do this with. The LLJ Bot sends out devotionals every day, which includes a Bible passage, reflections and prayer points. Use these as a springboard to share your personal takeaways and prayer requests, and top them off by sending cute stickers!

YouVersion’s Bible mobile app also offers free Bible reading plans that you can sign up together with your friends. Select a plan that’s most relevant for the season or the circumstances that you and your friends are going through. Perhaps a plan related to hope or peace might be a good one to read during this coronavirus outbreak! 

3. PLAY AN ONLINE GAME TOGETHER

For cell groups and friends who like playing games together, why not do this online?

Battle it out together and go on quests with Guild Wars 2 or Soul Knight. Fans of Overcooked may also enjoy its similar online multiplayer version called Cooking Battle. Or try Fun Run, a quick yet fun mobile game for small groups. 

Nothing like a round or two of games as an alternative means to fellowship – best of all, these games are free! 

4. STREAM YOUR CHURCH SERMONS

If you’re not able to make it for your church service and there’s a livestream link, why not tune in? The good thing about doing so is that you might be able to make a new friend through engaging in the comments section with those who are also watching.

If your church doesn’t do livestreams and you know someone who would benefit from listening to the sermon, how about going old school and typing out the main sermon points on Google Docs so your friend can follow in real-time? Creating a text livestream rather than a video livestream can be easily done with your phone!

5. CREATE A CELL GROUP HASHTAG  

If you have many cell members who aren’t able to join the group activities, how about creating a personalised cell group hashtag? Hashtags can reinforce your cell group’s identity by creating a hashtag that’s unique – a reminder for yourself and your cell members that you still belong to a community. 

Post uplifting messages, sermon videos and notes, or even bookmark pretty verse images that you like on Instagram by leaving your cell group hashtag as a comment. Everything that has been tagged with your cell group hashtag will be available for the entire group to see!  

6. VIDEO CALL YOUR MENTOR/MENTEE 

Take advantage of technology and keep in touch!

Whether you’re a cell leader or cell member, mentoring and accountability need not always be done face-to-face. There are several apps that now offer free and easy video call functions, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Skype and Google Hangouts. 

Whatever form it may take, a hand that reaches out can go a long way. You’d never know who needs someone to talk to during a time when fear and anxiety seems to be spreading faster than the virus itself. 

This article was first published in February 6, 2020 but has been updated as of May 27, 2021.

THINK + TALK

  1. What does fellowship mean to you?
  2. Is fear getting in the way of fellowship? 
  3. How can you reach out to a friend in times of crisis? 
About the author

Justine Ocampo

Justine doesn't wear a watch, but she's always just-ine time, just-ine case you were wondering.