UNPRECEDENTED TIME . . . FOR THE GOSPEL
The word “unprecedented” has been used a lot lately. An unprecedented virus, and unprecedented lockdown, an unprecedented economic crisis. Bloomberg recently reported that for major businesses “the use of the word unprecedented has become, well, unprecedented.”
You might be getting tired of it.
But here’s the thing. This IS an unprecedented time for sharing the Gospel. We must not miss it! Please pray that we don’t miss it!
A ‘Great Quarantine Revival’?
Last week in “A New Day at Home and Abroad,” I wrote about an Indian pastor’s hope for a “new day” in his country amidst the coronavirus lockdown. We touched on whether this could be a new day for the Gospel in our nation, too.
Guess what I read this past week?
On Thursday, FOX NEWS reported, “As churches and ministries are seeing record numbers online due to the coronavirus pandemic, one evangelist is calling it the ‘Great Quarantine Revival.’”
The evangelist being referred to is Nick Hall, founder of evangelism ministry PULSE. Partnering with leaders like Ravi Zacharias, Francis Chan, Bob Goff, David Platt, Michael W. Smith, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and more, Hall held several virtual events leading up to Easter. Services were transmitted to nearly 100 countries and translated into 40 languages. FOX indicates 117,000 people around the world accepted Christ as their Savior through this effort!
Hall said, “The doors to our church buildings may have been closed, but the church has not closed. We are living through a Great Quarantine Revival, and I think God is just getting started.”
Technology is a Tool of the Moment
We all know technology can be misused, but it also can be a powerful tool for light and life. That is certainly the case in this crisis.
Nick Hall leveraged today’s technology in Pulse’s outreach. Others are doing the same.
Last week, I mentioned a spike in “good news” Google searches and a surge of people coming to Christian websites and hearing the Gospel. Christianity Today reports that one group, Global Media Outreach, registered a 170 percent increase in clicks on search engine ads about finding hope. Also, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Cru created specially designed internet tools for ministry in the pandemic. Cru’s student page is on pace to receive 20 million more visitors than last year, and BGEA told CT their new outreach had more than 191,000 online visitors and 11,000 decisions to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
Ed Stetzer and his colleague Josh Laxton at Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center recently expressed their hope that churches will come out of this crisis learning to “utilize tech as the new Mars Hill.” (See Acts 17:22-31)
Indeed, this is a time for churches and ministries to explore the reach of technology. On my blog I recently pondered whether churches could tap into the world of 164 million U.S. adults who play video games. I think there could be fertile ground for innovation there, but maybe it would turn out to be a terrible idea. I don’t know. The point is to explore.
Keep It Simple
What if I don’t have a ministry that can reach across the globe? And maybe technology isn’t really my thing?
Well, first I would say that you do have access to power that is more than global in scale. It’s also vaster in scope than any human invention.
You can pray to God the Almighty, Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer.
Then, here are several relevant ideas from campus ministry leader Paul Worcester. A few simple ways he suggests to take action: reach out to a friend from the past, make follow up calls for your church, or… just go take a walk and meet neighbors where they’re at.
What steps do you have mind for this unprecedented time? Share in the comments section.
May the Lord overcome this dark and deadly pandemic. May His light and love shine though us.
Aaron Mercer is a Contributing Writer with two decades of experience in Washington, D.C.’s public policy arena and Christian associations. A seasoned strategist, he aids organizations with research, analysis, and writing services, and he reflects on faith, technology, and the public square at FTPolicy.com.
Partner with Us
Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.