Dear Ministers, Secretaries and Treasurers
…we know that suffering produces perseverance;
and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)
When the current disruption began I spoke to some people who were clearly excited by the sudden change in church life, by the challenge of leading through a crisis and by the opportunity for extraordinary creative thinking. I spoke to others who felt more like rabbits caught in the headlights, initially shocked, frightened and disconcerted by the new restrictions, but who have found the resources to respond step by step with faith, compassion and wisdom.
Whether we are excited by change or more energised by routine, as the lockdown continues (and perhaps even becomes the new normal for the foreseeable future), the grace of perseverance is one of God’s gifts to us. Perseverance means not giving up:
- not running low on compassion when the news makes Covid-19 sound more like a statistic than a serious illness leaving a trail of pain and loss in its wake
- not tiring of worshipping together with all the limitations of digital meetings but discovering more deeply how God’s Spirit fills all times and spaces
- not losing our passion for prayer and dependence on God as we become accustomed to lockdown but letting this be a season of spiritual growth
These are still days for running ‘with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith’ (Hebrews 12.2-3). In the power he gives, let’s continue to step up to servanthood, incline to innovation and press into prayer.
National Prayer Livestream – Sunday at 7.00pm
This week Ali Laing will host the livestream with a Next Generation theme, focusing on some ways the Coronavirus crisis is impacting younger people. As usual it can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/scottishbaptist/live/
Resources for Youth and Children’s Ministry
Ali has also collated some valuable resources. He writes:
During this extraordinary time we are all finding new and innovative ways to be church. Many are also finding great ways to connect with children and young people. If you are wondering what to do with your kids and young people there is good news. There are lots of brilliant church resources online to help you with your youth work and children’s work.
Here are a few really great ones that may be helpful for you and your church.
Safeguarding online – Great guide for those doing youth work online: https://youthscape.ams3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/documents/Guidance-for-online-youth-work_v2.pdf
Setting up online youth work – Great guide for setting up youth work online. Lots of practical help: https://yfc.co.uk/youthworkonline/
Brilliant online content for use with children and young people: Scripture Union Scotland has launched SU TV – It’s excellent! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpT3blQNM4KlxtVIb_DlkBw/featured
Finally, for a younger audience there are brilliant kids’ sessions from Spring Harvest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPwUG55YJMw
Thirtyone:eight have prepared some advice for churches on their website about keeping vulnerable people safe during the Coronavirus crisis. They are also running a series of webinars on safeguarding. If some of your leaders have spare time just now, this may be an opportunity for getting important upskilling in this area.
The Baptist Insurance Company has issued updated guidelines for churches during this time.
Mission in Unusual Times – don’t forget our podcast
The MIGCast, produced by Glenn Innes and our Mission Initiative Group, has been exploring approaches to mission among our churches. You may find these a helpful stimulus as you ask what the Lord is teaching our churches about mission in these days. The conversations with Brian Sanders seem to have particular resonances at this time, although they were originally recorded last year.
And finally…Celtic Worship Youtube Link!
Many of you let us know that the link we had sent for the Celtic Worship videos with song words for use in church worship was not working – our apologies! Please find below the correct link this time: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/orz86i9xu80ntzg/AADnOSfH_WcHzGYb4pRr8KUwa?dl=0 Provided that the church has a CCLI and PRS license in place, you are absolutely fine to use these resources in livestreams.
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. (2 Thessalonians 3:5)