By Emily Ferguson
Ministering through two years of COVID-19 has been deeply challenging for pastors. Yet the lead-up to Easter is revealing how that challenge has formed a fresh willingness to follow the Holy Spirit into new endeavours with open hands and trusting hearts.
Mayfield Church of Christ in Newcastle is taking part in the Bible Society’s Jesus. All About Life (JAAL) campaign for the first time, using JAAL resources to promote and bolster their Easter services. They are hoping to see those in their local community move one step closer to Jesus as a result.
“Coming out of COVID, the future feels very uncertain,” said Tim Drough, Pastor at Mayfield. “I’ve always felt in ministry I can see what’s ahead and have a vision for the future, but lately, I just don’t know. I’m holding a lot of things loosely, trying to be faithful and taking up opportunities I feel like God is leading us towards.
“Jesus. All About Life is one of those things that popped up, and I thought, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ It may not translate to a bum on a seat on Easter Sunday, but if at least it edges people closer to the one who created them and loves them, and makes people consider that Jesus is all about life, then that’s a win. It may not be a win we get to see this side of heaven, but you never know.”
In Wollongong, NewDay Church will be hosting its first Community Easter Egg hunt on Easter Saturday. Having reached out to 20 of their nearest primary schools and childcare providers, plus several local Facebook groups, they are hoping to serve the families they already know through the childcare centre they operate and bless their broader community.
“COVID has provided a barrenness in people’s lives in so many different ways,” said Jono Prince, Senior Pastor at NewDay Church. “The wake of COVID lockdowns means we can bring community to those without it.”
“We have 9000+ Cadbury eggs, activities, a barbeque and coffee – anything that will bring a festive and community space for those who come along. We wouldn’t have considered doing an event like this that is thrown so widely open to people we don’t know, but after years of lockdown, we have been led to something that any young family can come to and be blessed by. We pray that by providing a positive experience, it may lead to another, whether we get to see that fruit or someone else.”
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