Being a Christian is far more than attending services on Sundays,
And that has never been more obvious than with the social distancing situation we have right now.
So, what can Christians do besides simply watching a video streamed online service?
Obviously, being stuck at home limits a lot of opportunities you have to live out your faith in Jesus, but here are 8 things you can do even now.
As a note, these are great things to start getting in the habit of and to continue doing even after life has returned to normal.
1. Study the Bible and share what God is teaching you with others
If you’ve never studied the Bible on your own, this is a great time to start. I’ve written a two-part blog series on how to study your Bible if you need help (here’s part 1 and part 2).
Whether taking extra time to study, or even to simply read, your time with God’s Word will never be wasted.
As a “part 2” to studying your Bible, it’s extremely important to be sharing what God is teaching you with others – and I don’t mean simply posting about it on your Facebook page. You can do that, but I mean to take a few minutes to personally encourage someone. It could be a private message, a text, a phone call, or even a conversation with someone in your own home.
Regardless of how you do it, take some time to be in God’s Word and to personally share your experience with others.
2. Call people to pray with them (and then continue to pray for them throughout the day)
One of the most valuable things we are given is the ability to pray – and you don’t have to be next to someone to pray for them!
Simply call someone, ask them if there’s anything you can be praying for them about, and then do it right then on the phone with them! And don’t forget to continue to pray for them that day and the rest of the week.
3. Spend some time reflecting on God’s Word and repenting of sin
As I have written about before in another two part series, repenting of sin should be an ongoing part of a Christian’s life (you can read these posts at these links: part 1 and part 2). Having our lives and routines disrupted can also be a stressful time that requires even more repenting than normal, and so this is a great time to start this godly habit.
Engaging with our faults and areas we’re not like Jesus can be difficult, but is essential to living a life that glorifies God.
4. Fast and spend that extra time praying
Fasting is an often overlooked part of the Christian life, but I hope that your time in isolation revitalizes this important spiritual discipline. Sometimes it’s hard to fast when you’re going about normal life, but with so many normalities being uprooted right now, this is the perfect time to fast without having all of the normal day-to-day distractions. You can read another post I’ve written on fasting at this link.
5. Financially give to your church and to others in need
Tithing has been a spiritual discipline and practice since the very beginning of Judaism, and generous giving to the church and those in need is still something Christian’s are to practice today. Especially with people not attending Sunday morning services, tithes being given to the local church will plummet, while the needs they are trying to meet in the community go up, so I encourage every Christian to continue to give to their home church.
Obviously, if you’re now out of work you may not have anything to give, but I’ve personally found the benefit of continuing to give even when times are extremely difficult.
But it’s not just giving to churches, there are many people in need right now and there are many ways you can give to others. Whether simply giving money, or providing help or supplies that others need can be extremely valuable and a way of giving to others.
Here’s a post I’ve written on one of Jesus’ teachings on giving.
6. Find ways to be generous towards and caring for those around you
Jesus clearly teaches us to treat others as we would like to be treated, to put others above ourselves, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
One specific way you can show love towards those around you is by simply offering to pick up things for others when you’re taking a trip to the store. Some people are too concerned or too high risk to leave their house even to pick up essentials and these people need help. Others can go to the store, but if you’re already getting something, then you can save them a trip and potential exposure.
By doing so you are individually helping them and also helping the general quarantine situation by helping keep fewer people from leaving their home.
7. Serve your church from a distance
This one might be a little more difficult because each church is different.
The easiest way to serve your church is to simply ask if there are any needs.
If you normally serve in kid classes then you might want to offer to help create curriculum for the upcoming weeks or to video record how to do a craft for the parents to do with their kids.
If you serve on the web or tech teams you can see how you can continue to help keep the entire church informed on what’s going on and keep things up to date.
If you play on the worship team then you might be able to help record worship songs that are personal to your church to send to members during/before/after service streaming times.
You might also be asked to simply check in on some of the elderly in your church or help in some other way.
Overall, every church is having to pivot how to best serve their congregation and there is almost always a need for volunteers to help.
8. Ask God to show you opportunities
This last one is something we, as Christians, should always be doing.
Life is full of twists and turns and opportunities that God has prepared in advance for us if we would simply seek His will (Ephesians 2:10).
I hope during this time of unknown and uncertainty, you will take this opportunity to seek what God might have for you.
Pray for opportunities,
Keep your eyes open for what you can do,
Take action when God presents opportunities.
BONUS: Video chat over board games and movies
Obviously, there’s a lot of good we can do during times of social distancing, but don’t forget there’s still ways to have fun too! There are plenty of ways to play games at a distance or even watch movies – I heard there’s even a Chrome extension that allows you to sync the movie you’re watching on Netflix with someone else to watch it together. Technology is pretty amazing so take advantage of the ways to stay connected with people even when you can’t be with them in person.
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