Church in the Midst of a Pandemic: Establishing New Rhythms and Engaging New Opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly shaken things up as of late. You can read how we are responding to things as a church more broadly on our COVID-19 Updates page. Here I simply want to do two things. First, I want to outline some of the new rhythms we are looking to establish as a church in an effort to bring a sense of order to the current chaos. And, second, I want to share with you a couple new opportunities that have now opened up to us for the gospel.
New Rhythm #1: Sunday Services
For the foreseeable future, it seems we will not be able to gather as a large group on Sunday mornings as we have been accustomed to. Instead, our current plan is to continue to pre-record a sermon that will then be uploaded to our website by 10:00am Sunday morning in video format. We will be providing a Worship Guide on our church blog to help you follow along at home. Depending on current limitations and recommendations, feel free to engage in this with family, friends, or other Mercy Hill members insofar as you feel it is safe and wise for you to do so. There will be punctuated times throughout the video where we will encourage discussion, prayer, etc.
New Rhythm #2: Home Groups
Beginning next week, we will be looking to move all of our Home Groups to an online format using Zoom or some other video conferencing platform. The group leaders will be able to "host" the meeting and anyone interested can join from their home via a simple link. To see each group's plan for this time and to find links for joining in remotely when the time comes, check out our Home Groups page here.
Note: If you have not to this point been a part of a Home Group, don't let that stop you! This is a perfect (and very important) time to jump in. Look for a group that you might see yourself continuing on with in the future, contact the leader(s) to let them know you'd like to take part, and do it! If you need help, don't hesitate to reach out to us at
New Rhythm #3: The Prayer Room
In light of the current shelter-in-place order whereby we find ourselves unable to meet with one another in person, we wanted to create a regular and reliable online space for us to connect and pray. We're calling this space "The Prayer Room." Using Zoom's video conferencing platform, this Prayer Room will be open from 12:00-12:45pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays beginning March 23rd and continuing indefinitely. You can enter the room by clicking the appropriate link found within the event on our website's calendar (e.g. check out the first Prayer Room event). One of Mercy Hill's leaders will be hosting and facilitating the time together. Feel free to eat your lunch while you pray!
Each time will follow the same basic outline:
- 12:00-12:10 - People enter the room and begin to share prayer requests (please be timely!).
- 12:10-12:40 - Those in the room begin to engage in prayer together.
- 12:40 - We say our goodbyes and leave the room until next time.
- 12:45 - We go about our day and watch as God moves!
I hope you can join us for these!
New Gospel Opportunities
New Gospel Opportunity #1: Serving the Church!
We know that the effects of this pandemic are widespread and multi-faceted. Some of you may be worried about your health. Others may be concerned financially. Still others may be struggling from isolation and loneliness. Whatever, the case, we want to serve you during this hard time! You are not alone. God designs the church to support one another in times like these (e.g. Acts 4:32-35). Please head on over to the COVID-19 SOS Form and let us know if we can help you in anyway.
New Gospel Opportunity #2: Serving the City!
The current crisis has also opened up new opportunities for us to serve our neighbors and city as well. One way we'd like to pursue this is through the use of what we're calling Neighborhood Care Cards. The idea was inspired by this post from The Gospel Coalition (please take a moment to read it!). You can either print and cut these cards yourself, or you can pick up a stack ready to go (in color and on quality cardstock) from Jill LeMoine. Email her at to place your "order" (don't worry, she can set them on her front doorstep for you to pick up).
Once you have your Neighborhood Care Cards, here are the next steps:
- Be sure to put your name, address, and contact info on each card.
- If you know the neighbor, you may want to even write a personal note to them on the back of the card.
- Drop the cards off on your neighbors' doorsteps. Pray for them as you do!
- When someone responds, if you're able to care for them yourself, go for it. If you need help either running errands or getting funds, please reach out to us at and we will try to mobilize our resources to help.
- Care for your neighbors and share with them the love of Christ!
Times like these provide Christians opportunity to show the world where our treasure really lies (Heb 10:32-34). So, God help us, let's do just that!