“Pandemic” of new opportunities

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In the second congregation of the city of Stavropol “Good News” a close-knit small group “Rainbow” has been operating for six years, and this year the Stavropol Adventists have mastered a new format of ministry.

RUSSIA | SVETLANA DEGTYAREVA, STAVROPOL-2 COMMUNITY INFORMATION DEPARTMENT

Every Wednesday, small group members from the Stavropol Seventh-day Adventists gather together to socialize and study the Word of God. Periodically on Saturdays, the group travels to the periphery to the brothers and sisters, who are far from the church in different villages and do not always have the opportunity to come to the city of Stavropol to conduct divine services with them.

In addition, the members of the small group also participate in works of charity and social service projects helping people with their needs. They also sometimes go out into nature together for a joint vacation and invite friends from outside the church.

Over a span of six years, sixty people have passed through the small group. But in connection with the pandemic, the members of the small group faced a problem: it became difficult for people to get to and make time for meetings. Then, these Christians began to pray that the Lord would indicate how to continue serving new people. And the Lord answered this prayer.

In April, an online group “School of Love Agape” was organized, and a month later, on May 20, another online group “School of Christ’s Disciples” was organized. All meetings are held online. Using the WhatsApp messenger app, these groups receive information about training lessons, homework, and also direct links to the Zoom conference, which allows everyone to see one another as they analyze a new topic and chat. Thank God there is such a wonderful opportunity – to carry the gospel using the Internet.

Right now, these groups each have thirty participants. Church members point out that they would hardly be able to gather so many people in small groups in their homes. But internet evangelism has erased boundaries and distances. So, among the members of online groups, there are participants from Germany, Tatarstan, Samara, Karaganda, and other places. It is interesting to note that there are representatives of various Protestant denominations in the online groups.

It is amazing how the Lord answers prayers. He helped us to reach people in different parts of the world, without leaving home, to make friends with them and tell them about Bible truth.

Members of the first online group, “School of Love Agape”, have the opportunity to study the message of God’s love in order to learn to love others as well. They study Bible truths that reveal God’s character and help to feel His closeness and care.

The second online group, “School of Christ’s Disciples”, makes it possible to become a disciple of Christ, to become like Him, fulfilling His great commission. Though there seems to be many Christians in the world, there are few people who truly know Christ and who experience true happiness and joy in following Him and in serving others. As group members study the life of Christ, they see that His teaching was simple, sincere, and powerful.

In the future, there are plans to create different interest groups, including sports, cooking, handicrafts, fishing, etc.

All training is recorded and it is possible to view recordings of meetings on the YouTube channel and share them with friends.

Stavropol Seventh-day Adventists note that this line of ministry is new and very interesting. The pandemic has opened up new opportunities for evangelism.

The second Stavropol community is ready to share their experience and materials for conducting small online groups, as well as teach others how to organize such a ministry. Additional information can be obtained by calling 89624504469 (Svetlana).

Let new horizons open up for serving the Lord!

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division’s news site