Social distancing has become the norm the last few weeks as schools and businesses have closed due to the coronavirus.
But physical proximity is no barrier to connecting people to Jesus and one another.
Southeast Christian Church is creating avenues for people in thousands of locations to stay connected when life feels a little more isolated.
Each Wednesday at 7 p.m., Southeast campus pastors are holding Family Gatherings through Facebook live. This is an opportunity for leaders to share updates and a devotion and to pray for the church and those impacted by the coronavirus.
Last Wednesday, March 18, thousands gathered virtually for the first Family Gatherings.
“I didn’t have Facebook until yesterday,” Crestwood Campus Pastor Greg Allen said. “But I’m excited to get to share just some of what God’s doing in the midst of our current circumstances.”
During Family Gatherings, campus pastors are able to share stories of how God is moving in homes and communities, despite a season of separation.
The Southwest Campus kicked off its Family Gathering by sharing the baptism of Sherrie Ashcraft. Southwest Connections Pastor Jim Veihl and Sherrie’s husband, Curtis Ashcraft, stepped into the Southwest Campus baptistry Wednesday night to celebrate Sherrie’s commitment to follow Christ in front of more than 900 viewers.
“I think something like this is awesome because it allows our church to celebrate you becoming part of this family,” Veihl said. “We’re not waiting for a Sunday.”
More than 50 people shared comments of congratulations.
Southeast’s Online Pastor Stephen Puricelli shared resources and interacted with viewers from each campus. Viewers were able to comment with prayer requests, ask questions, express needs and praise God for His work in the community.
Family Gatherings will continue to meet Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on each Southeast Campus Facebook page. To follow along and receive the latest updates of how to stay connected, make sure to “like” the page of the campus you attend.
Southeast currently has a wealth of resources available online at www.south
eastchristian.org/resources, including Bible study materials from RightNow Media, YouVersion and City on a Hill Studios, podcasts, articles and Bible reading plans. Other resources include:
>Reverse the Curse resources: These devotions and study materials coincide with Southeast’s current sermon series and invite readers into a deeper dive of what it means to Reverse the Curse. Check out the Reverse the Curse Field Guide and listen to past sermons.
>Resources for families: Children’s and Student Ministry resources are available to help keep kids engaged during extended time out of the classroom and away from weekend worship services. Families can connect to materials that keep them talking about the main thing: growing in relationships with Jesus and others around us. Many campuses are also offering children’s resources that can be picked up at the campus. For more information, contact your campus directly.
>Digital Detox: Spending more time at home inevitably means spending more time in front of a screen. And with the ever-changing nature of news and social media right now, it may be a good time to reflect on the role of technology in our lives and take some time to unplug from the barrage of media. This seven-day challenge invites participants to pray through Romans 12 and look at what it means to redeem the screens in our lives for God’s glory. Download a printable copy of the Digital Detox Guide at www.southeast
For those in Support and Recovery Groups, meeting together is often an urgent need. In response, Thursday Night Encounter, Southeast’s Support and Recovery Ministry worship service at the Blankenbaker Campus, is now holding services online for all involved in Support and Recovery at any Southeast campus.
Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., participants can join a Zoom call and interact in a live video conference call with Support and Recovery Ministry Leader Dave Spruell. Spruell will deliver a short message, and leaders from each Encounter group will facilitate a video conference call with group members.
“I have seen ministry done in some extremely unique ways over the past couple of weeks,” Southeast Care Ministry resident Jenna Rueff said. “Technology has enabled the church to provide a whole new type of community for all people, from one-on-one FaceTime calls to entire ministry gatherings via Zoom. The church may not be able to gather in the building, but the church is still the church.”