When challenge presents opportunity

February 2, 2021
The unexpected rise of COVID-19 impacted our world in unanticipated ways. The pandemic presented many challenges for church plants and planters as well.
 
While the closing of schools and theaters — where many churches meet — was an unforeseen obstacle, flexible planters and their teams worked tirelessly to find different ways to connect with their growing flocks and continue the work of what it means to be the church. Nearly all of these  churches have found some place to land when some semblance of normality returns.
 
Planters are often creative, and the requirement of flexibility found churches learning new ways to continue to grow. Whether it was online worship gatherings, digital discipleship or an increasing reliance on prayerwalking, 2020 was a crash course in learning new things to keep the body engaged and the new church on track through a difficult season.
 
The challenge of COVID-19 also presented new churches with an opportunity to minister to their communities in different ways. The cautious, socially distant culture that is our current reality has really forced planters who are building a team to be creative.

The challenge of COVID-19 also presented new churches with an opportunity to minister to their communities in different ways.

One of Church Planting NC’s (CPNC) plants, OIB Life Church in Ocean Isle, focused on ministering to local business owners and their employees. Pastor Travis Byrd has made weekly (albeit protected) visits to meet and pray. 
 
One significant regular ministry of OIB Life is providing personal protective equipment supplies throughout the community. The church conducts these giveaways weekly, and so far, it has given away over 500 kits. OIB Life has experienced professions of faith and baptisms as a result of their continued hard work through a difficult time.

Watch the video above to learn more about ways in which OIB Life Church has ministered to its community.

Many CPNC church plants across the state participated in the “Farmers to Families” produce box distribution through Baptists on Mission. It is estimated that more than 1 million pounds of food were distributed in 2020 through the program, which allowed churches to serve their communities. 
 
One such church plant is Think Kingdom Church in Kannapolis. Through the church’s “Block by Block” initiative, Think Kingdom provides food, delivers groceries and gives financial assistance to its neighbors. During COVID-19, Think Kingdom has partnered with more than 20 nonprofit organizations, churches and community groups. As a result, Think Kingdom has connected and shared the gospel in spaces that it previously did not have access to. 
 
Planting a church during COVID-19 has been incredibly difficult, but it has given churches unanticipated access to those they would not have met otherwise.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Watch this video for a 2020 recap and to learn what 2021 has in store.


by Mike Pittman  
Church Planting  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Top 5 resources for March 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Seeking sending churches

One of the biggest obstacles to planting effective new churches is a lack of qualified, prepared planters. In recent times, before COVID-19, I sat in a room with evangelical church planting leaders from across the nation. In presentation after presentation these national leaders...

‘Reimagine’ resource addresses today’s realities, tomorrow’s possibilities

How does your church see this COVID moment? On a recent webcast by the Barna Group titled “Caring for Souls in a New Reality,” panelists posed the question, “Is this an interruption or a disruption?” An interruption means that this is only a temporary interference in our lives,...

Farewell, with thankfulness, gratitude and prayers

After more than 27 years as a staff member and more than 14 years of leading the work of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), the time has come for me to bid you farewell as your executive director-treasurer (EDT). I am retiring at the end of this month, so this...

Board approves annual meeting date changes

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) board of directors approved date changes to the next three annual meetings, elected an interim executive director-treasurer and heard an update on the search for a permanent executive director during a meeting held Tuesday,...

Endowment established to honor Milton & Gloria Hollifield

A new endowment has been established to honor longtime Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. and his wife Gloria for their service and contributions to Baptist life in the state.State convention officials announced...

Upshaw elected interim EDT; Search committee provides update

Brian Upshaw, who has served in a variety of key leadership positions with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), has been elected as the interim executive director-treasurer of the state convention effective March 1. In this role, Upshaw will oversee the work of...

Suicide: The elephant in the sanctuary

“Pastor, come quickly! He’s going to kill himself!” Those words still ring in my ears even though it’s been many years since the night one of my church members frantically yelled them into the phone as soon as I answered. It's rare for a pastor to receive a call like that, but...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!