Our church response during the COVID 19 crisis

These are uncharted waters for us.  Below you will find the framework for what we as a church intend to do in the days and weeks ahead.  At this point, these are the four-week plans.  We do understand that as things have dynamically changed even in these last days and hours, so it could very well be in the days and hours before us.  As things clarify, we will adjust our plans accordingly as needed.   

            

As we moved into and past our 150th Anniversary, we shared together what we believe God is leading us to in days ahead.  That purpose has not changed today, in fact, it guides us deliberately through these waters.  We must keep FIRST things first.  Each letter of the word FIRST calls us to respond intentionally in this time.


F - FOCUS



We must keep our eyes on Jesus.  He is our hope and strength.  He alone is what must remain central to our lives.  So, we ask ourselves, how can we continue to grow toward Him through this?   How can our devotion to Him be strengthened in this season of trial? 

We are called to respond in the following ways:

  • We continue deep and meaningful worship on Sundays.  For at least the next four weeks, unless there is divine intervention, we will be doing this off-site.  Our worship will be strong as ever, even if we are not face to face.  There will be powerful music, a strong challenging message from the Word, uplifting prayer, and all you would normally expect each Sunday.  We live in a day where technology allows us to connect to one another like never before.  We are going to utilize it for God's glory!  We will be on 92.9 fm, Facebook live, YouTube live, and on this website under the Sunday Worship tab.   Join us live each Sunday morning as we worship together.  
  • Though our meeting times and locations are different for a season, we still stand firm in our faith as the body of Christ.  Let us use this opportunity to grow and seek the Lord together.  Remember, the church is not a building, it is a people!  We remain the church, even when not at the church.  While we continue to adjust to this new normal for a time, these are some ways to remain connected and growing as a follower of Jesus:
                     We are providing discussion guides for The Gathering.  Though we aren't sharing a meal here, you can still use these guides for family                      discussion or pick up a phone and walk through it with a  friend.  Share a discussion with your neighbor.  Use it for your own devotion.  

 

                     We are going to continue our Wednesday Night Adult Bible Study. Bro. John will be sharing live at 6:00 p.m. each Wednesday night via      

                     our YouTube channel on our church Facebook page. This will allow for discussion through the chat feature it provides. 

 

                     FBCH has amazing Sunday School teachers!  You know how blessed we are here with men and women committed to teaching God's

                     Word.  Starting March 29, every Sunday we will make available our weekly Sunday School lesson, taught by video by one of your

                     Sunday School teachers. 

 

          These are all available on fbchazlehurst.com on the resource link on the main menu banner.  

 

  • Taylor Mangold is working with our children and students, continuing faith conversations, and providing resources for both students and parents.  

 

I - INVEST



We love others as Christ has loved us.  While we are familiar with face to face encouragement, we must think about new ways we can live out our call to love one another.  To simply say “check on people” or “make sure you keep in touch” won’t keep us from becoming disconnected.  We have to be intentional in how we remain connected with both our community of faith and those who need care around us.  Therefore, we are asking that all of us make an intentional commitment to continue to invest in others in the following ways:

  • For Sunday School members, please contact all those on your S.S. rolls.  Logistically, each class will need to determine what method works best to accomplish this.  We can provide the rolls if you provide the contacting. 
  • For Choir Members, remember your CCC (constant contact consciousness).  Keep in touch with those you sing with each week.  Make that joyful noise as you give them a call. 
  • For Deacons, use this time to call through all your Deacon Family Ministry families.  Don’t miss this opportunity to minister.  They are expecting it, let us rise to the occasion. 
  • For our Senior Adults and Actioneers, help us check on our elderly and homebound.  One call could be the encouragement they desperately need.

Doesn’t that mean we make multiple calls?  Yes. 

Won’t multiple people make the same calls?  I sure hope! 

Won’t some people get multiple calls?  Absolutely! 

Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing!

Wouldn’t it be great to get to the other side of this and discover we are closer, more encouraged, more loved, than we have felt in a long time?  Let it be so.  Remember, you don’t have to be at the church to be the church.  

 

R - REAL



In this, how can we live authentic, real, and transparent lives?  As we live out our faith in this crisis, join us in the following commitments:

 

  • We will speak truth, but not spread misinformation.  Lots of rumors fly in times like this.  Hysteria breeds confusion and mistrust/distrust.  We won’t be a part of that.  What we know and can share, we will.  Please also understand that everything we may know, we neither need to share or are able to share for a variety of reasons.  While this letter is giving much information, most of our updates will be on our Facebook page.  We understand everyone doesn’t “facebook” so if you do, please help us disseminate the information to others.   
  • We have hope!  We know who is in control.  Live like it! As followers of Christ, how we respond to this season matters.  Lead and live with faith and not fear.  If we say we have hope, but walk in fear, what message are we sending a world that really doesn’t have hope?  Let us lead, through our actions and attitudes, the hopeless to the source of true hope.  

 

S - SERVE



How will we step up and serve the body of Christ, when we can’t physically meet together?

How will we step out and serve our community, when opportunities are so limited? One of the ways love is manifested is through serving others.  The dynamic has changed these days, but it has not ended.  Help us step up and step out in these ways:

  • Keep an eye out for the needs around you.  A neighbor may need someone to go get groceries for them.  Because of the financial difficulties this is bringing with it, a friend may not have the resources to get daily necessities.  Someone down the block may be struggling with depression and social distancing may be feeding a downward spiral.  We don’t expect you to meet every need, but there are some needs you may can meet.  Pass the other needs on to the church or your deacon, and let’s see together how we can meet those needs.  If you are able to go get groceries for others, let the church office know so we can make that information available to those who need it.  
  • Continue to give faithfully.  We aren’t passing the offering plate each Sunday, but the church ministry still continues.  You can practice faithful stewardship by giving by mail and now by giving online!  You can give by following this link. You can give by check or card, a one-time or a recurring gift.  Take advantage of this easy way to be a cheerful giver!

 

T - TRANSFORM



There is power in the gospel to change lives and save souls.  I still believe that what this world needs more than a cure for COVID-19 is Jesus.  A cure may save the body, but only Christ can save the soul.  Let us ask the important question, what are we

asking God to do through this?  Or even still, what are we praying and preparing for Him to do?  This could be the start of another Great Awakening.  It could be the dawn of a massive revival the likes of which our generation has never seen.  Are you ready for that? Are you praying for that?  As He alone is the One who can transform a life, let us:

  • Pray for all those affected by COVID-19.  Pray for healing and for a divine intervention that stops the spread in its tracks.  Pray for families dealing with sickness and loss, financial uncertainty, employment upheaval.  Pray for our leaders as they make decisions that will affect our nation and community right now but also with lasting ramifications far down the road.  Pray for wisdom and discernment that can only come from God.  Pray for all our health care and medical professionals.  Pray for their protection and continued strength.  Pray for parents and students, school schedules uprooted, new adaptations of education off-site, and unexpected challenges.  
  • Pray for our community.  Pray for peace in uncertainty.  Walk your neighborhood and pray for each house and family.  Pray for our first responders, community leaders, pastors, educators, and others.  Be a prayer warrior for your community!
  • Most importantly, pray daily that God uses this crisis in our world to bring a great revival.  Prepare your heart for what is coming.  Seeds grow only when the ground gets broken up.  May this season of great upheaval bring forth a great harvest!  


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