Pastor Lee Fore Kingdom Matters
His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently revised the nationwide lockdown to incorporate new measures that are meant to control the spread of Covid-19.
These measures are very necessary considering the spiking cases.
Africa has not been spared. Its cases have now reached 875 000, up from 721 000 cases that were recorded last week. More than 18 500 deaths have been reported across the continent, with 525 253 recoveries. Zimbabwe has recorded close to 3 000 cases, with deaths rising to 41.
Against this background, what is the church’s role in all of this?
The point of lamentation is the fabric of biblical tradition, not that it’s just an outlet for frustration, sorrow and sheer inability to understand what is happening to the church or why. In fact, it is part of Christian vocation not to be able to explain spiritual things, unless if it is by revelation.
However, the house church could be the solution to Christian worshipping during this indefinite lockdown.
A house church is a group of Christians gathered for worship in private homes. The group may be part of the larger Christian body. Sometimes these groups meet because the membership is small and therefore their homes can be the appropriate place. However due to Covid-19, it’s now a family church set-up for prayer and fellowship.
In the past few months, our movements have been severely restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The church has shifted its traditional operation to online worshipping. The church has been using various communication methods to reach its members, including online platforms, radio and television.
It has been amazing to see how churches and prayer groups from across the world have adapted creatively to the new ways of worshipping.
The indefinite lockdown is an opportunity for the family house church.
The background of the church, which is not the building, but the called ones, can still meet in their homes.
The first church at Antioch, according to the book of Acts, the real life of the church had nothing to do with building, but family prayers were held in homes, while temples and synagogues were meant for public teachings and discussions.
More so, when the church was faced with persecution by the Roman Emperor, they resorted to house church fellowship and prayer. It’s important for the church not to despair, but have faith that Covid-19 will come to pass.
There is need to regard it as an enemy that has short changed the life and the operation of the church. God is teaching us to revert back to the roots, where churches would meet at home to build a strong faith and fight the enemy.
The house church will become normal, with physical distancing becoming the new normal. In Matthew 18:20 the Bible says, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am”. This scripture teaches us that in families of more than one person, fellowship is possible. This family house church can give each family member an opportunity to discover God given gifts. That’s the power of house church fellowship.
The conditions within the family setup are in line with WHO’s health guidelines. There are no worries of getting in contact with other people outside the family. This means that the “stay at home” rule is adhered to, yet church fellowship goes on.
It is sad to note that some believers are now slackening. Prophet Elijah Shammah founder of Global Missions said, “it’s not the time for the church to sleep, rather be vigilant and become prayerful, for such a time as this one can enjoy great time of fellowship in the presence of God.”
Rev James Madi said the house church must also honour God with tithes and offerings according to God’s principles in Malachi 3:10 so that church coffers do not run dry.
Praise God that the church of Jesus Christ lives and thrives under this lockdown, and the gates of hell will not prevail against the church.
Believers should hold on to their faith in such a time as this. Be on guard always, continue wearing your face masks in public places, practice physical distancing and personal hygiene, and fight the spread of Covid 19.
Pastor Lee Fore: Religious Commentator: For comments and feedback: Contact +263 773 469 191 or +263 712 314 734