So, the "circuit breaker" period has been extended by 4 more weeks.
As we reel from the effects of this announcement, we have to quickly ask ourselves, "How can I respond well to this season as a disciple of Jesus?"
What does it mean to be a disciple?
"In the Bible, you don’t see this concept of ‘believer’ first, then working towards being a ‘disciple.’ When you become a Christian, you are a disciple—you are a follower of Jesus.”
“The early church was an expression of Jesus, and I think we are meant to restore these teachings of discipleship back into our church.”
“We move away from us being at the centre of our lives.”
“So much so that when people look at me, look at how I live my life, they will see and know Jesus,” said Joseph Chean, National Director of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Singapore in a recent online conversation UNVEIL HTHT, organised by Cru Singapore. (Click here for full talk)
Undeniably, COVID-19 has brought out the best—and the worst—in us, followers of Christ.
From churches stepping forward to offer free lodging for Malaysians who needed accommodation urgently to Christians reaching out swiftly to migrant workers in dormitories, the Church in Singapore shone brightly amid COVID-19 gloom.
But we also recall the times when we gave our senior pastors a hard time while they made critical decisions on church activities, and of course, the panic-buying some of us may have been a part of.
Make this watershed moment a defining moment
“As a faith, we are at that watershed moment,” pointed out Edric Sng, founder and Editor of Thir.st and Saltandlight.sg.
“Either something amazing is going to come out of this—where we rethink what church is, what the expressions of faith are, what the gospel means to us, how are we expressing into other people's lives.”
“Or we just get swept over by the tide—and I'm not just talking about the virus—but of fear, panic, arguments, worry.”
As believers—disciples—we have an important choice to make: do we want the world to see Jesus, through the way we live, talk and love during COVID-19 "circuit breaker" season?
Do we dare to strip everything away and ask ourselves the hard questions?
We can either continue live a life swayed by apathy, fear and disgruntled. Or we can dig deep and discover the abundant life of abandonment in following Christ—be it changing the way we do church or being a caring neighbour.
Consequently, our response as Christ’s disciple shapes how our next generations respond in this season.
Small steps and practical tips to respond well during COVID-19
So, what can we hold on to our convictions with wisdom and discernment in this unique season?
Tip #1: Leverage on technology and social media, with an added element of being missional.
Joseph urged during UNVEIL HTHT, “Ask yourself, How can I glorify Jesus? How can I lift him high through social media? Whatever I'm working on, whatever I'm enjoying, how can I glorify Him? How can I share who God is and the reality of who God is in my life?”
“This is a time to be even more conscious of our Christian witness,” added Edric.
“This is our opportunity to witness to the world, because now that everyone's online, everything is visible to everyone.”
“We all have a choice on social media—you can either flame everyone in sight, or you can choose to really speak life. I think Christ is trying to remind us to just reset, reframe our perspectives on things.”
“Maybe even to change how we speak, how we represent Him.”
Tip #2: Being open to seek help or ask others if they need it.
"4 more weeks?!" you might be asking yourself after "circuit breaker" extension.
You may be that struggling dad/mum struggling to balance WFH (work-from-home) and HBL (home-based learning), or that extrovert ovecoming cabin fever very badly.
Reach out to mental health professionals if you need or simply text a friend to ask for prayer.
If you know of someone going through a rough patch, proactively reach out! 1 Peter 4:8-11 encourages us,
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (New International Version)
Tip #3: Get together online in Christian circles—not just socially—to pray, ask, talk and initiate action.*
In light of prolonged "circuit breaker" measures, we encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe. There are many online ways now to ‘get together’—even more time now to reach out in conversations, pray together and talk about how we can still be a blessing to others.
“This (COVID-19 season) is that moment, for us to translate... creativity into reaching out and blessing our society,” Joseph Chean shared.
“There's something powerful when you get young people coming together with one common topic or passion, and just facilitating that time and listening to each other.”
“Young people—ask, talk, create opportunities; throw ideas out and create a circle of people who have the similar passion, similar questions.”
“Realise that you can do your part in reaching out to people.”
Pastor Edric noted, “I think it's time for the church to arise as an extraordinary church—doing things in a way that the world cannot fathom.
“At the end of it, Jesus is glorified.”
1. Even with staying at home, what can I do to be a changemaker for others?
2. What are some barriers that I have towards reaching out and being a blessing to society—even in the confines of home?
3. Is God telling me to enter a season of quiet and grow close to Him? What are some issues that are fueling the restlessness I have within?
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Deborah is passionate about capturing different perspectives to create relevant and impactful content. She enjoys meaningful conversations and collecting experiences, but also loves time spent just with a good book and cup of coffee.
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