Traditionally Easter and Christmas are times when people attend church in greater numbers than the rest of the year. In South Africa in 2020 Easter will be very different. Church buildings will remain empty during the most significant weekend of the church calendar. Social media in various forms will once again make it possible for Christians to connect and celebrate.
You see, Sundays in the early church were not a mere toned-down version of the Jewish Sabbath. It was the day Jesus rose from the grave and Christians just naturally flocked together, shouting with joy: ‘He is risen!’ wherever they were on a Sunday. It had nothing to do with rest. There was way too much joy for any rest to happen…
I sometimes wonder what lockdown would have been like without social media. In this blog, I want to share with you a couple of people/churches/ministries that have filled my phone with God’s Word during lockdown. For many churches, it was a frantic scramble to find solutions to the unexpected challenge of being church without a building and they primarily focussed on reaching out to existing members. As a result, you and I were able to see behind the curtain and visit many different churches. This is not an evaluation of their success or a kind of rating. It is merely me sharing with you content that I have found meaningful in this time. I hope that at least some of the new additions will persevere in this space even after getting their buildings back.
Phil and Corlia Buys
Philip and Corlia have posted videos three times a day since the start of lockdown responding strongly and with great wisdom to this crisis time. They successfully draw you into their conversations and make you part of their prayers. Internationally renowned Bible teachers, they give great Biblical perspectives on current issues like fear, conspiracies and the endtimes, all the while offering hope and an inspiring view on our victorious Lord and His church.
You can find them on Facebook at Phil Buys Resources.
Koos van der Merwe
This guy is only for my Afrikaans friends and if you want to catch him live, only for the early birds. Koos is famous as a pastor, artist, poet and philosopher and in his early morning chats he once again speaks to your heart as only he can. He creates a fun conversation that inspires and stirs your heart. I especially enjoy the almost lyrical language he uses with great skill while still making you feel as if you are sitting on the other side of the table.
You can find his public page on Facebook at Koos van der Merwe.
Pastoor Flippie Gerber
This guy plays the accordion and sings all the songs from my childhood, just the way we sang it then. You may not have the same emotional response to his music that I do, but he is one of the guys I hope will continue for a long time on Facebook and Youtube. He has the same dignity and sincerity of the pastors under whom I was raised. I recommend that you spend enough time on this page to listen to some of the English choruses he sings with a beautiful Afrikaans accent.
When this lockdown ends and we all start travelling just because we can, I want to visit Wolmaransstad where he pastors a local church.
You can find his public page on Facebook at Pastoor Flippie Gerber.
Worship South Africa
I have no idea whose idea this page was, but it is inspired. Worship leaders from all over South Africa host live worship sessions from their homes. It is planned to last until 15 April but hopefully, it will continue for the duration of the lockdown. Either way, you can go back to previous sessions if you scroll down. But remember, this page is not filled with music videos where you listen for a couple of seconds and then scroll further. You will find someone leading you in worship as he or she would do it in church. Join in. Allow yourself to be led to that special place you know so well.
You can find this page at Worship South Africa.
The list could carry on for long, but I hope you will check these ministries out in the coming days. And I hope you will share your favourites with us in the comments. To whom do you listen? I’m not interested in famous or international guys. We all know them. Share with us the local guys who are responding to this lockdown in a way that is significant for you personally. Pretty please! 😊
I look forward to your contribution.