Cancelled Due to COVID-19. Join us as we co-host with Flat Rock Baptist Church for our Annual Good Friday Worship Service as 7 Ministers preach on the 7 Last Words of the Lord Jesus Christ. Worship at 7pm with Fish Fry at 6pm.
Tens of thousands have clicked to pray for salvation since the outbreak. Is the increase temporary or a harbinger of greater gospel witness online?
Millions of worried people who have turned to Google with their anxiety over COVID-19 have ended up connecting with Christian evangelists in their search results—leading to a spike in online conversions in March.
In the Philippines, a woman named Grace found herself on a website about coronavirus fear hosted by the internet evangelism organization Global Media Outreach (GMO). “Please help me not to worry about everything,” she wrote in a chat with a volunteer counselor. “What’s happening now is very confusing.” The counselor explained that only Jesus can bring lasting peace, and Grace received Jesus as her Savior.
Back in the US, a volunteer at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) chatted online with a young mother named Brittany who worried that COVID-19 would take her life and her children’s lives. The volunteer offered hope and peace, and Brittany too accepted Christ.
Three of the largest online evangelism ministries—GMO, BGEA, and Cru—account cumulatively for at least 200 million gospel presentations on the internet each year. All three say the number of people seeking online information about knowing Jesus has increased since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic in early March.
Between mid-March and late March, GMO saw a 170 percent increase in clicks on search engine ads about finding hope. Clicks on ads about fear increased 57 percent, and about worry 39 percent. The ministry’s 12.4 million gospel presentations in March represented a 16 percent increase over the average month in 2019.
This recent surge corresponds with a broader finding by a University of Copenhagen professor: Internet searches related to prayer in 75 countries skyrocketed ...
Churches have had to pivot hard and shift in a direction they weren’t going.
We are now a number of weeks into the COVID-19 crisis here in the United States. For the most part, many churches and believers have entered into a new normal, at least for the time being, as we ride the turbulent wave of the virus and the damage it inflicts personally, socially, culturally, and spiritually.
Here at the Billy Graham Center we work hard to be a hub for convening, training, and resourcing churches for greater gospel impact. Since the beginning of this crisis, we have sought to be a leading voice for how the church can embrace this crisis as a missional moment.
What I want to do in this post is to list what I see as good news and bad news of how churches and believers are doing during the crisis. In gospel like fashion, let’s start with the bad news and then conclude with the good news.
There’s no question that a crisis elicits decisions. As such, pastors, church boards, and church leaders have had to pause and pivot, and thus plan and prepare for how they will minister and serve their church as well as their community through this crisis.
Just think about it: in literally a period of a week—possibly two—churches had to decide how they were going to conduct ministry and mission. And giving what the federal government (and state governments) was saying—in connection to what the experts were recommending—most churches moved to some form of online ministry.
According to LifeWay Research, only 7% of churches held an in-person worship service by March 29th, and many of them (43%) don’t typically stream their services.
In short, churches have had to pivot hard and shift in a direction they weren’t going.
In the midst of this pivot, two actions have come across either ...
For Charles Spurgeon, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, and more, disease defined how they knew God.
For many of the Christians the church remembers and admires, sickness has had a profound role in shaping their shape. Some, like Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther, personally struggled with chronic illness and pain. Others, like Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale, responded in bold ways to the call they felt on their lives to attend to the needs of the suffering.
Over the years, Christianity Today has published a number of pieces detailing the ways that plagues, disease, and physical discomfort affected the faith of believers. Articles are arranged in order of date they were published, from oldest to newest.