A COVID-19 Update From Pastor Scot

Dear Church,

There are times that define people. I believe we are in one of those times. But make no mistake, we are in it together. What is more, infinitely more, we are in it with Jesus. He has never forsaken us and He never will. He is sovereign. He is powerful. Good. Strong. Present. He is not panicked, nor is He worried.
 
I believe Jesus is both sad and active. He is saddened by the corruption of sin and evil that even allow for a deadly virus in the first place. There was no such thing in Eden; there will be no death in the eternal kingdom. I also believe He is very active. In many ways, I believe His Body, the church, can shine in times like these - when the regular trappings and distractions of “normal” life can lull us into slumber - we are all awake right now. 
 
Our world is awake. They are asking hard questions. They are asking ultimate questions. And, perhaps in a stroke of God’s wisdom, church buildings have been temporarily taken away. All we have is the scattered-but-connected Body of Christ, the individual Christ-follower, an individual testimony, the power of God to save and bring hope, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the living Word of God, and the cross of Jesus our Savior. Read that list again. It’s all we ever need. 
 
I’d love for you to open your Bible and read Psalm 18. Take special note of the occasion of the song, written before the first verse. It is a time of tension and deliverance. It is a song that celebrates God’s unbelievable power. It is appropriate medicine for all of us in our time. 
 
Now let me fill you in on a few details. 
 
Last Sunday
For the first time in the history of our church, to my knowledge, we met together almost entirely online. We had about 3,600 people meet with us through Facebook, another 1,250 or so through our website or app, and more than 400 downloads after the service. We even had an entire church in Alabama join us because they didn’t have the ability to stream. I don’t think they were the only church. 
 
While it was quite different preaching to a camera, I loved it. I easily pictured you at home gathering alone or with your families. I thought it was unusually powerful and special. I pray it was a great experience for you as well.
 
This Coming Sunday
Our plan for this Sunday will be the same as the last one. And it looks like this will be our plan for a little while at least. We are not gathering together, but we are meeting for a Live Stream at 10am. If you join late, you can always rewind and start from the beginning. We are even trying to creatively engage kids and students. Stay tuned for more on that as it develops. 
 
How to Join on Sunday
Some of you had a few issues joining us for the stream. Your wifi connection and accessible bandwidth may be a factor, but you should not have a problem almost anywhere. Below are some tips for live streaming. For more best practices, please see our Live Stream guide. 
  • If you’re on a mobile phone or tablet, the Faith App is going to give you the best viewing experience.
  • If you’re on a laptop or desktop computer, our website is ideal.
  • If you have a smart TV, the BoxCast app is best.
  • If you want to interact with other viewers, Facebook is best.
 
Economy
When our normal coming and going gets interrupted in such a significant way, the local economy is affected. Large local industries are making changes and many small businesses are unable to open as normal. Please consider how you can, safely and within the wisdom of precautions, support, and invest in local businesses. 
 
Obviously, not being able to gather as we usually do on Sundays can also affect our church family’s finances. Please prayerfully consider your regular, ongoing support of the church through giving online or through our PushPay app. If you have never given to our church, I would ask that you do so, even in a small way, this week. To get started with PushPay, text 'give2fbc' to 77977 or visit faithbibleonline.org/give.
 
Large Group Gatherings
All large group gatherings are still postponed, per local, and national mandates. But our great ministry team has already had some success with piloting some virtual gatherings of large numbers of folks through various platforms. If you are part of a group like Re:generation, keep in touch with your leaders for more information. 
 
Small Group Gatherings
For smaller group gatherings and some support groups, we are busy trying to make the same digital gatherings possible. If you are in a small group or small support group, stay in touch with your leader and group for more details. While you’re at it, check in on each other and see if there is anything you can do to bless someone else. 
 
Need Help - Want to Help
Especially for those considered “at-risk” we want to be available to help. If you need assistance with running errands, picking up a prescription, or getting food, please email us at FBCAssist@faithbible.church. If you would like to be a runner or helper, please email us at the same address. 
 
Our Offices
We are working hard to remain available to you, our church family, and meet the needs of our community, but on a minimal basis. This week, we will have two pastors and one staff member at the church during office hours (9am-5pm), available to you by appointment. You can also reach our pastors and staff during office hours by calling our front desk at (936) 321-5505.

Ongoing Updates
For the latest, please visit our COVID-19 Update page on our website. We will do our very best to log all of our email correspondence and videos here for you to access. We will do our very best to do the same on our Facebook page.
 
I love you church. I love being your pastor and shepherd. And, while I too am saddened and concerned in this unprecedented time, I am also very excited about how God will use His church for His glory. I am praying that each of you have unique, unexpected, intentional and personal conversations with others - online or in-person - with neighbors or strangers - that make an eternal impact. Let’s be the church! That is who we are. 
 
Scot Pollok
Lead Pastor
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