By Dr Agnes Tan
At the beginning of our COVID-19 lockdown, the choir chose an anthem called “A Community of Faith” as their first audio recording project and as a reminder of what a community of faith should look like, even when facing a global pandemic. The refrain of the anthem goes like this, “A community of faith, loving one another. A community of grace, reaching out to others; A place of hope and caring, togetherness and sharing. This is our legacy. We are one family, one great community of faith.”
In Acts 2, Luke tells us of a real community of faith which everyone will want to belong to. This community of new believers, about three thousand in number, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. They had everything in common and sold their property and possessions to give to those who are in need (vv. 42-45). The early Christians practised their faith in their daily living not simply to make a good impression on others but because they were the proper expression of the faith they had embraced. Their changed lives were a testament of God’s power at work. “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (v. 47).
But how can churches or our church build a vibrant community of faith when the world is encouraging social distancing? Let me share some practical applications.
Firstly, pray (James 1:5). Set aside time every day and pray for the church and her needs. Pray with one another. Join our church prayer meeting.
Secondly, reach out and connect with the community. God called us into the body of Christ, into the church, and as a member of the community. Be a friend. Learn how to serve. Fill a need (1 Cor. 12:27).
Thirdly, draw close to God. Study His word. Attend SoCM classes. Join a Bible Study group. Disciple others. Be discipled (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Fourthly, ask God for grace to adapt to changes. Most of our everyday interactions are going online, actively participate in it. It is still a platform to learn God’s Word and to practice sharing and fellowship (Heb. 10:24-25).