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September 2020

Politics, and a
Post-COVID Culture


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Ministry During a Pandemic

By Lauren Biggs


In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, fear and panic spread quickly throughout the world. Christians, including IM missionaries, responded with a different voice—one of hope and peace during this crisis.

All around the world, people search for answers and the light at the end of the tunnel. They seek real peace and the hope which only comes from the truth of the gospel. Conveying peace and hope is the daily passion of IM missionaries. The men, women, and children who lead on every field around the world share this good news with those who have not heard. God did not disappear during this pandemic. He is at work in many ways throughout this crisis.

It’s no secret, planting a church takes intentional relationship-building with people in the community. Depending on your view, community can be face-to-face or online. It can be at the grocery store or a video drop-in. The global pandemic offered IM missionaries perfect opportunities to intentionally reach out to those around them, evangelize non-believers, and cultivate new relationships.

Requirements for social distancing led missionaries to adapt their ministry. Incredibly, technology maximized efforts to reach people who normally do not hear the gospel. Individuals and families unlikely to personally attend a weekly service or Bible study, joined biblical conversations by accessing a shared church service link from their friends, exposing them to truth. Many missionaries share experiences of speaking with individuals, hearing their needs, and stopping—right then and there—to ask if they can pray for that person. Missionaries report 99% of people allow them to pray, which becomes a great way to build a relationship, witness, and share burdens. Crisis creates opportunities when we are willing to adapt.


Missionaries use social media, live streaming services, video calls, and texts to continue Bible studies and English classes for those in their local churches and communities. Taking the time to personally reach out to parents, believers in the local church, or others in the community cultivates rich relationships. Spending more time at home allows individual missionary families, singles, and couples to be still and present in prayer and time in the Word. Not only do individual relationships with God grow, but relationships with fellow believers deepen.

Church members bond from a distance through virtual choirs, partaking in the Lord’s Supper, and synchronized daily prayer times. With schools canceled and families together at home, our missionaries provided at-home resources to encourage families to engage in discipleship while providing meaningful ways to entertain their kids. Missionaries are also translating and distributing the D6 Curriculum’s at-home discipleship materials to both Christian and non-Christian families, igniting spiritual conversations in these families’ homes. Trust is building, accountability is taking place, and spiritual awakenings are occurring in people’s lives. The Church is growing stronger even in the midst of this pandemic!

Ministry within the COVID-19 climate expands beyond online means. People everywhere dread empty grocery store shelves. While the world says hoard, Christ says help. Missionaries used their resources to deliver supplies, gift bags, Bibles, and food to those in need. Our missionaries help meet the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in their communities, sharing the love of Christ. They send encouraging videos to nearby nursing homes. They share the gospel with those on the street. Conversations connect them with neighbors from the balcony or at a distance, changing fear into hope.

Our missionaries, like our pastors here in the States, show tremendous flexibility with their regular ministries. Missionaries not only stepped into their virtual roles for preaching and evangelizing, they also adapted to show true pastoral care and love. Vanya Trifonov, missionary in Bulgaria, shared, “Many people are looking for God, groping in the dark to find the way to the truth. The times we are living in are rough but unique for sharing the good news. The ministry is different, but the Lord is the same and He needs witnesses. I trust we will come out of this crisis better and stronger as Christians.”

While COVID-19 closed church buildings, the Church remained open and active. You can’t quarantine the gospel! The Church left the building. Instead of inviting people to come, our missionaries are going in unique ways! Churches and ministers around the world are finding new, creative, and innovative ways to continue sharing the gospel and discipling believers. Missionaries have the perfect opportunities to reach out intentionally to those around them: evangelizing non-believers and cultivating new relationships.

The shelter-in-place lifestyle provided an opportune time to focus more on individual discipleship of fellow believers through a variety of means. The Church stepped up to serve the physical needs of the local body and reached out to communities of non-believers in this difficult time. Our missionaries’ faithfulness to the Great Commission has not wavered!

We ask you to continue to lift up your local church and our IM missionaries through prayer and financial support. The IM mission statement reads, “We exist to labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission.” You are our partners in the Body of Christ, and we are in this together. We must reach the unreached people across the globe with the gospel.

Your continued support enables many IM ministries. Bible and pastoral training, church planting, national youth camps, and missionary efforts around the world are able to continue in the Great Commission because of your prayers and giving.

We asked our missionaries, “How are you ministering creatively during social distancing?”
Below are some of the ways they continue to reach people in their communities in the midst
of quarantine:

  • LINE (a popular app in other countries, similar to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp) communications with families, individuals, and small groups

  • Writing thank you cards, old fashioned telephone calls, and text messages

  • Video Bible studies and kids’ lessons

  • Facebook Live or Facebook Watch Party

  • Conversations at a distance with neighbors

  • English lessons and discipleship courses via Zoom

  • Translation of D6 Family at-home discipleship materials to provide to families

  • Virtual choirs created by WhatsApp groups who share and then combine individual videos

  • Video Zoom calls, FaceTime, WhatsApp

  • Using Bible study apps amongst a small group

  • Pre-recorded video sermons and lessons to share to websites, Facebook pages, and YouTube

  • Delivering essentials to the elderly in their neighborhoods

  • Sending supplies to nursing homes through Amazon

  • Sending encouraging videos to nursing homes

  • Hanging banners on balconies with verses on them for people to read when they drive down the street

  • Sewing parties to make masks for police officers and other individuals

  • Stateside missionaries participating in video interviews with pastors

  • Use social media to provide updates, build relationships, and connect with family or friends through posts and conversations

About the Writer: Lauren Biggs, media connections coordinator for IM, Inc., is a 2016 graduate of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. She and her husband Austin married in 2017.


©2020 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists