CCD: Heilongjiang Church Launches Online Bible Program
By Ai Mo
May 06, 2020
The terrible pandemic has been ongoing for nearly four months. Churches around the world have suspended all on-site meetings during the pandemic in an effort to combat the virus. At the same time, in line with the principle of being responsible for each believer and following the Bible’s teaching of never stopping to meet, pastors and workers of churches around the world also carried out some corresponding responses in a timely manner.
In these days of continuing to stay at home, churches around the world have started a variety of online activities, such as the Sunday worship, Tomb-Sweeping Day memorial, Easter singing…all online. No online gatherings have become the best way for believers and pastors to contact and communicate with each other.
With the date for reopening the church undecided and home-worship without an ending date, in order to help believers better conduct spiritual practices during this special period so as not to waste time, some churches have created suitable methods of spiritual practices for believers at home on a network platform, such as all forms of online Bible reading.
Recently, the church in Jinsha New District in Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province, launched on its official account a Bible reading plan entitled, “the Bible accompanies you every day”. By talking with the workers who are responsible for the activities, we have found that church pastors started this activity to make brothers and sisters more eager to listen to the word of God during this special period. Meanwhile, the official account is also a direct and suitable way to reach believers of all ages. The church is also continuously giving updates according to the different requirements of believers.
The Bible says, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The co-workers in the church of Jinsha New District hope that through this form, brothers and sisters can encourage each other and promote Bible-reading. By reading the words from the mouth of God day after day, and one can finish the whole bible in one year. By doing that, one can also form a good habit of Bible-reading.
The activity starts at 6 a.m. each morning when a new article is posted on the public page informing believers of the day’s reading plan and verses for recitation. Believers who complete their daily plan punch in and interact with each other in the message area. At the end of each article, there is a section listing some questions about the Scripture. Each day, 10 questions are given based on the Scripture read that day. Then believers write the answers in the message area. The reference answers will be published the next day.
The event was started on April 22 and has lasted for 15 consecutive days. Church staff said, “We received feedback from believers every day. At first, we often received questions from believers who had just followed our official account and weren’t familiar with the activity. But gradually, we received more and more feedback about the benefits they received from the activity. They said that this activity helps them participate in Bible reading with regularity. Through reading while listening, the experience is so different. Finally, through answering questions about the scripture, they read the Bible more carefully, which strengthens their memory, and makes them remember the discourses better.
“The brothers and sisters in the choir are especially enthusiastic and take an active part in the activity every day. They will take out little notebooks prepared in advance, write the answers carefully and wait for the reference answers to be released the next day. This activity not only helps believers of the church put the words of God first and meditate on them every day but also helps their families. One sister shared: ‘I post articles in my Wechat family group every time the official account updates, and my families will actively respond when they see them. The grandmother, who is in her 70s, will pick up the Bible and participate in the Bible reading program with her family, which is especially touching. Grandma listened to the audios while reading, and the problem of unknown words and unclear parts is also conveniently resolved.'”
At present, the coworkers of the church in Jinsha New District are still exploring and innovating, and there are still many areas that need to be improved. “The new part is still under construction. To avoid believers quitting or being half-hearted, the church will take some steps, such as establishing a scripture reading group. Bible-reading will be reported every day, and there will be a special person to daily record and upload screenshots so that believers can encourage each other to move forward.
– Translated by Nicolas Cao