2021 has been a year. We said that about 2020, and I’m guessing we’ll say that about 2022 and the years following that. The one thing that has stayed constant throughout the year is our need as people for relational connection. God made each one of us (yes, even the introverts) with an internal desire for relationships, connection, and a place to belong.
So, in an age where everything from shopping to weddings to film premieres is online, at Ginghamsburg we’re doubling down on relationships and community online. For months I’ve had this quote from Carey Nieuwhof written on my dry erase board: “Content isn’t scarce anymore. What’s truly scarce is community and connection. So, build the future on that.”
The past two years have been filled with isolation and loneliness, and we know many people continue to seek connection and community. Our online campus is not simply a container for live and on-demand worship content. It’s a place for real people both near and far to connect with Christ, our church and with one another. One of the ways people have connected online is through prayer. Prayer is both a private and shared experience, and when shared, prayer can forge amazing connections and opportunities for growth.
One of our Facebook groups is called Ginghamsburg Prays. Throughout the week there’s an almost a constant stream of conversation between someone asking for prayer and others responding with their prayers. This is what true community is about – providing spaces where people feel confident and secure to be able to speak and share, knowing they will be prayed for and loved.
Recently Pastor Sarah and I hosted a prayer gathering via Zoom. We opened with a brief devotional and then stepped back to allow the Holy Spirit to lead our prayers, to move and to work. Everyone participated throughout our time together as we prayed for families, opportunities in the workplace, and our church. As we closed, one of the participants commented, “I’ve never prayed out loud in front of other people before.” As I reflect on that evening and this statement, it really cemented to me what God can do through our online campus. As I said earlier, it’s not about hosting content. It’s about connecting people to the power of the Holy Spirit and one another. It’s about using those connections to equip and empower everyone to become a disciple who makes disciples.
In a few days, we as a church will be spending time in prayer to focus our hearts on God. Throughout November 23 and 24, leaders from our church will each be leading a time of prayer on the main Ginghamsburg Facebook page. This online, 24-hour time of prayer and fasting will draw us closer to Christ and unite us as the church. I believe God will do amazing things beyond what we can even imagine. I see strongholds being broken, people set free from the chains of addiction, families restored, and lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit – all because we, the church, stand united in prayer. I hope you’ll join me.