As India continues its attempt at the world’s biggest social isolation effort to halt the new coronavirus outbreak, millions are struggling to navigate weeks of canceled public transit, closed businesses, and therefore no Sunday services.
Many smaller churches have their attendees join the livestreams of larger churches. Our own sunrise service on Easter, conducted on Zoom, drew 250 people—despite its 5 a.m. start.
After greeting Christians and praising “Lord Christ” in Good Friday and Easter tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this week his decision to extend the lockdown until May 3, due to the lack of widespread testing for the virus as the death toll rises.
However, despite all the disruption and our inability to worship together as usual, I believe the pandemic lockdown is being used by God to use his church in a new way.
Two things were happening before the pandemic hit. First, the church was severely opposed. Second, because of this opposition, there has been a prayer movement that resulted in great unity among the national Christian community. Churches have begun to overlook their historical denominational divisions, bringing the Indian church to the cusp of revival. There has been news of breakthroughs in the work of the Holy Spirit in places and among people. And in spite of severe opposition, the church has been responding maturely and collectively to its challenges. As a result, the church has been growing spiritually and numerically.
Church leaders across denominations have fostered a misperception in the pews—and in the watching world—that Christians concentrate their efforts solely on Sunday gatherings. Commitment to the church and its goals has been gauged by Sunday ...1
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