internet in 2019, ordered and received a new computer to conduct better services in November of 2020. Things were progressing slowly and then COVID struck. What were we going to do? How would we minister to and reach our community effectively and consistently? We created a Facebook page commensurate with our Facebook group. I live-streamed via the laptop from the house at first. Then on Easter Sunday, we streamed from the cell phone with a stand. Then we got a website, a YouTube channel, a podcast channel, online giving setup, a video camera; things were progressing and we were moving toward fulfilling the vision God gave us about two years prior. People from the community were responding positively to the live stream as what once appeared as evil technology suddenly became a “dream come true” for those that were not ready to come back to church. God used many people and many talents to allow us to fulfill His vision and guidance for our church. The vision for the church is not always for the church and surrounding community but also for others.
This past September, while live streaming our Sunday morning service, there was a newcomer to our service. He commented several times during the service in the comments section of Facebook live. Afterward, I was informed of our visitor and I reached out via Facebook messenger. We connected the next day while I was at my secular job and conversed for two hours. During the course of that conversation, I learned that this young man was in the hospital in Lynchburg, VA during his viewing of our service. I also learned we had never met nor did he know anyone in our church or community. A friend referred our church service to him on Facebook live and we still don’t quite know how his friend knew of our church. The part that touched our church the most is what happened during the conclusion of our service. When I gave the invitation he informed me that he got out of his hospital bed, walked to the front of his room, knelt down and asked Christ to be Lord of his life and to forgive him of his sins. I was able to connect him with a pastor I know in Lynchburg, VA to start discipleship relationship. We praised and worshipped God together.
Technology is pricy, time consuming and can be a pain. Improvising, adapting and overcoming through adversity in difficult, especially when our hands are tied with quarantines, curfews and reluctance from our congregation. However, if we are willing to yield only to God, He is faithful to give us what we need when we need it. It is my prayer that this anecdote will bring you hope, encouragement and a renewed vigor in your continued pursuit of the higher calling from God.
Justin Carp—Darlington Church