Throughout church history, there are very rare instances where the people of God did not gather together regularly. These moments represented specific, overarching cultural situations that made it advisable for people in groups of any size to not gather together. COVID-19 is another example of a culturally singular moment that necessitates the decision for Christians not to hold their weekly church services and to do so knowing that they are not being unfaithful to the commands of Christ.
(R. Albert Mohler)
It could be argued that Sunday 22nd March 2020 was the most unusual Sunday in the history of Christianity. To contain the spread of COVID-19, many churches across the world were not allowed to meet or decided to take a break from meeting.
In response a lot of churches streamed services online for the first time. It was great to see the global church responding this way. Providing a way for people to connect and worship. However, there are concerns about maintaining an ongoing sense of community during this time. Questions are being asked about how the church continues to be the church when people cannot physically be together.
To assist churches, many organisations are providing ideas and resources. At Biblica, we want to encourage you to consider Community Bible Experience.
What is Community Bible Experience?
“A REVOLUTIONARY WAY TO GATHER TOGETHER AND READ THE BIBLE, ENCOURAGING REGULAR, MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT WITH GOD’S WORD.”
Community Bible Experience (CBE) is simple but revolutionary, taking away verse numbers, chapter numbers and all the other things that interrupt the text of the Bible it invites people to read a whole section of the Bible all the way through. And it encourages people to do this in community – more like a book club than a Bible study.
You can read a lot more about it by clicking on the link below where you can see the resources available and find stories of groups who have already begun their CBE journey: https://www.biblicaeurope.com/our-work/community-bible-experience/introduction.
It sounds good, but we can’t meet together?
What we are suggesting at this time is that groups of people get together online, through platforms for video calls, for example Zoom (zoom.us), to maintain community and continue to fellowship together. This may be small groups that are already meeting for Bible study or prayer. Or this might be a new experience, a new opportunity, for some. For many, with the normal church programme on hold, now is time to try something different.
So if you are a church leader, please consider if you want to recommend this to your people. Or perhaps as an individual you just want to get a group of friends together and begin your CBE journey.
We understand that everything that is going on at this time may evoke a sense of fear. The truth is that all of us will face fear and hardships in life. We want to encourage you to take comfort in the words of Jesus.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33 (NIV)