Like many of you, we are trying to figure out where to go from here in life and as a ministry to see how we can best help and reach people in this difficult time. Although nobody knows how long this country will be in this situation, we are treating this situation as a long term issue which we believe will help us in the long run in regards to helping and reaching people.
In this time there is going to be a lot of online opportunities for Christians to watch live feeds from churches, listen to sermons, watch live worship music, and even form video groups for church members and this is all great. The purpose of that is to keep church communities not only together but encouraged. We do see churches using this time to reach outside of their churches and it is our heart to encourage and emphasize more and more to Christians that especially in this time, we need to provide opportunities for non-Christians to feel this support and of course have the opportunity to learn about Jesus. As a ministry, we are not only going to continue to love and reach people outside of the church, but we believe this time will open up new doors to connect with new people.
As a church planting ministry, we feel like the best thing we can do is encourage people to build community and support around each other. One way to do this is forming support groups through the Zoom app or other social media resources. We ARE NOT encouraging people to meet in small groups in person at this time! In many ways, the way we have been doing church enables us to more easily adjust to this crisis. We are basically already set up for this time. Our churches and groups are already set up to support and help each other. The only difference will be meeting online rather than in person.
The purpose of our churches is to help each other grow together as followers of Christ, inspire one another to live out the Great Commission, and to help meet the needs of people around us. Please read Acts 2:42-47. This is the mentality we can use today, especially in this time of need. More and more people are going to be losing their jobs (this is already happening in our home church) and of course more people are going to need help with physical and emotional needs.
WHAT ARE WE ASKING YOU TO DO?
Obviously the more groups we have, the more people get the help they need. We are asking for as many people as possible to commit to forming these support communities.
HOW DO YOU START A GROUP?
We will provide direction and a plan. Basically you will invite people to a weekly, at least, Zoom(a video conference app) meeting. The purpose of the weekly meeting is to initiate consistent communication throughout the week.
WHO ARE YOU STARTING GROUPS WITH?
Each team, couple, or individual starting a group chooses what group they feel like would best fit them in their situation. This could include neighbors, family members, friends, co-workers, or even people living in places you have a heart to reach, for example, a low-income apartment community.
WHAT WILL WE DO IN THE GROUP MEETINGS?
We will provide direction. It will be very simple but life giving. These groups will of course give everyone an opportunity to learn more about God but also create a way to help meet the physical and emotional needs of the group.
ARE THESE CHURCHES?
It is our hope that many of these groups will eventually become churches.
ARE THESE GROUPS UNDER THE LAP UMBRELLA?
The simple answer is, if it helps! If you would like it to be under Loving All Peoples (LAP), then great. We do consider ourselves a church network. It will be easier for us as a ministry to keep track of groups within our network so we can more easily provide the support to be able to best help and reach people. At the same time, we want to help start as many groups as possible so that we can help as many people as we can, so you can also start groups outside of our LAP network if you would prefer.
ARE WE ASKING PEOPLE TO LEAVE THEIR EXISTING CHURCHES?
We absolutely do not want to take people away from their existing churches! If you are happy where you are and you have a way to serve during this time, then please stay there. If you do not have that opportunity or you have a desire to be a part of what we are doing then great. To be clear, like any church, we are always looking for committed people and want to be seen and known as a Church.
DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE BIBLICAL EXPERTISE TO START A GROUP?
No. Even if you consider yourself a non-Christian, anyone can facilitate a group. A group simply follows provided questions to create conversation and engagement. Outside of the meeting, we will be in communication about what the group is learning and how they can better help each other.
WILL YOU HAVE ONGOING COACHING?
Yes! We are in it with you all the way. You will never be alone or expected to do this all on your own. We are here to help and guide you.
If you are interested, please send us your email and phone number. We will either contact people individually or do a group Zoom call. Let us know if you have any questions.
Kyle and Melissa Jenkins