Spreading the Gospel to all nations virtually
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
These verses, which come from the Bible story of The Great Commission, explain how Doug Hanneman sees the work of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM).
“Jesus said, ‘Go out and spread the Gospel to all nations.’ This is what we’re doing when we reach out to people in the group homes, the folks who have intellectual and developmental disabilities,” explained Doug, JCM coordinator at Grace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minn.
Due to COVID-19, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended social distancing and the elimination of public gatherings. Without being able to meet in person, JCM volunteers figured out a new way to host their regular Bible study events to continue to share God’s Word. The group chose to host the program on Zoom, a video conferencing service that allows users to meet virtually. Other JCM programs host Worship at the Cross online, but this is the first online Bible study.
Leading up to the event, volunteers gathered for a dry run to ensure that the program ran smoothly. Each volunteer took a turn sharing a Bible story with a visual felt storyboard, leading the group in song, or showing the steps of a craft.
Pastor Patrick Feldhus, JCM coordinator, assisted in planning the online Bible study and joined the Zoom meeting to observe.
“It was great to see the leaders, volunteers, and participants interact with each other. It had been a while since they had seen each other. It was like watching a family reunion,” said Pastor Feldhus.
From start to finish, the program lasted 30 minutes. This was a half hour of participants greeting one another with smiles, learning about God’s everlasting love for them, and interacting together while doing a craft.
The JCM program plans to continue to host its Bible study events online until it is safe to meet in person.
Using Zoom or a similar video chatting program is an excellent tool for all JCM programs to meet while it is recommended to remain at home. Program leaders who are interested in learning about hosting a service online can contact Pastor Feldhus at email@example.com.