How a Simple Devotional Guide Can Fuel New, Virtual, Faith Communities
By Doug Ruffle
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are finding creative ways to continue the work of creating new places for new faces. While we cannot come together physically, we can meet virtually via one of the many platforms (i.e., Zoom, Skype) available. One simple method for starting a new faith community has worked before in at least three different countries—including the United States—to start new faith communities. In the July-August 2019 edition of The Upper Room, a short article in the centerfold tells how The Upper Room daily devotional magazine has been used to start new faith communities.
Each issue of The Upper Room includes “An Easy Plan to Use The Upper Room in Small Groups” (found in the end pages of the magazine). The “Easy Plan” includes prompting questions for the Wednesday devotions each month. These questions are available online from The Upper Room blog site. For instance, for March 2020, here are the questions corresponding to the Wednesday devotions: https://www.upperroom.org/devotionals/blog-posts/912
Of course, the devotions themselves are available online as well. The daily devotion pops up when you access upperroom.org.
By using the devotions for Wednesday, regardless of which day of the week you meet, you could start a new, virtual, small group or house church. Invite a circle of friends or neighbors to a virtual meeting, giving them the log-in information to join the meeting. When you convene, welcome everyone to the meeting. Use the guidelines published by The Upper Room for meeting in small groups: www.upperroom.org/resources/a-guide-for-small-groups. Follow the prompting questions that correspond to a Wednesday devotion.
Let us know if you already have such a group or plan to start one. We would love to hear your stories.