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

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