The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the regular rhythms of our lives. Social gatherings, travel, even going in to the office, have all come to a sudden halt for many of us. It has been just as disruptive to the lives of our children. Their daily routines of school, sports practices, and maybe even after-school jobs have also shifted to time at home.
For Christ-followers, we’re facing the added disruption of the inability to gather together with the church for corporate worship, Bible study, prayer, and encouragement. But that disruption to our lives can also be a time of renewal. While some of our longed-for activities have disappeared, space has been created for new rhythms. Will we fill them with binge watching Hulu and Netflix, or something that builds us up in Christ?
Here are some suggestions and possible resources to help you be intentional about spiritual focus during these disrupted days:
>First, while many churches have moved worship and preaching to online streaming, Sunday school for adults and kids will not make the same shift. If you use Lifeway curriculum, you can have Sunday school with your kids using their Lifeway Kids at Home material. You can also digitally access The Gospel Project, Bible Studies for Life, and Explore the Bible curriculums for all ages at no cost during the next few months. They are also offering several other options for online at-home Bible studies. Find it all at www.lifeway.com/coronavirus.
>Maybe you have children at home and, due to cancelled evening activities, you’ve found a little more margin in your day. This is a great opportunity to practice family devotions. For families with a wide age range of children, options like a simple reading of the Bible and discussing the verses can work well. In my home we’re currently using a group Bible study on Philippians from cru.org. They have topical studies or studies of books of the Bible. I pick and choose from their questions, then adapt them to fit my family context and my kids’ ages.
Another great and simple option is the Discovery Bible Study app. It is available on ios or android smartphones, and is filled with simple, Scripture-focused guides based on four questions that are asked after each study, helping you focus on what the passage teaches us about God, other people, self, and mission.
You might even want to do a video Bible study, as a family or individual. Rightnowmedia.org is offering free access to a limited number of their online streaming video studies. This is great content to help calm fears and focus on Jesus Christ during a time like most of us have never experienced.
Lastly, I would urge you to take the time to intentionally pray, in conjunction with Bible reading, whether your household consists of only you, or of family and extended family. We all feel a bit out of the ordinary, anxious, and stressed right now. You and your family will be drawn closer to the peace of God and closer to one another by praying together during this time. Maybe God will use this unusual time to start a new rhythm in your life, and like James says in 1:2-4, you will consider these trials pure joy because they lead to perseverance which leads to spiritual growth.
Ben Jones is a director of leadership development for IBSA.