One of the biggest changes to daily life is how we meet together, and churches have not been immune from the impact.
But every cloud has a silver lining, and one Brisbane pastor believes now is the time for churches to shine even brighter in their communities.
Pastor Matt Prater heads up New Hope Church in Kelvin Grove, and is also heard Saturday mornings on 96five when he hosts the History Makers program.
He told 96five’s Tim Bain that churches have grabbed hold of technology with most churches now live streaming their services, but also using technology to help their community stay close.
“Churches are also starting up prayer meetings via the Zoom app. Because you can see everyone’s faces you can communicate with each other just like they’re in the room. At New Hope we connect every night at 8pm and pray together; it’s a great opportunity to connect using technology during this crazy environment we’re in right now.”
A Time To Shine
Matt also said that with churches being forced to entirely rethink how they operate, it’s the perfect time for churches to step up even more with their community focus. The New Hope church operates the Kings Table Soup Kitchen, feeding and providing assistance to Brisbane’s homeless, and the new restrictions have meant the service now has to operate with a more outward focus.
“Church is not a building – church is people, I actually believe this is the finest hour for the church. Our charity New Hope Care are still cooking meals on a Friday, but we now put the meals in takeaway containers and take our bus around to where the homeless are in the city.”
With thousands of people joining queues outside Centrelink offices, Matt says that it’s imperative we look after the most vulnerable in our community.
“Right now the homeless population in Brisbane is struggling, a lot of them suffer from anxiety and that is now going through the roof. The reality is that with more unemployment comes more homelessness. This is where the church is meant to be shining brighter than ever. This is our time to care for the last, the least and the lost.”