What is God saying to you and to others? What will future ministry and mission look like? What things need to remain the same? What changes do we need to embrace? In 2020 we invited New Zealand Baptists to reflect upon these questions in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic and to share their thoughts on the future. We’re now reproducing these reflections here for all to see and be inspired by!

The period of history that will be known as COVID-19 has been an interesting one thus far. I’ve never had a home office before, I’ve never had a five-week period without buying petrol or takeaways or a flat white, and I’ve rarely experienced a time where I could look back and see God’s hand at work in so many different ways. This enabled Windsor Park to reinvent itself very quickly to be a fully livestreamed church, and then to reinvent itself all over again the following week to be a fully @home church utilising a myriad of technologies to still be what we’ve always been—a vibrant faith community that does life and faith, together. 

During 2019 we wrote a series that had the theme of exile, looking at how we would remain connected to God if everything we knew that was precious to us was taken away. And then, boom, it was! In late 2019 we wrote a series as part of the 12-church PressingOn movement that is titled, Thrive. And right now, as we come out of lockdown, we had already planned to start a series on Nehemiah and how we might build thriving faith communities. The timing couldn’t have been any better even if we’d known that COVID-19 was coming! 

There were multiple prophetic conferences in 2019, but no one warned us about this, and for that I’m grateful because God’s ways are above ours, and in His own way he had been preparing us for it anyway. I’m grateful that I don’t know the future, but COVID-19 is giving us an opportunity to replant our faith community by capturing the best of the past with anticipation for the best of the future. We’re looking courageously to become a phygital church—ask me for more details. 

Thanks COVID-19 for the opportunity to be creative, bold, and more reliant than ever on the inspiration and leading of the Spirit.

Contributor: Grant Harris, Windsor Park Baptist Church

Read other reflections on the future of ministry and mission by New Zealand Baptists:

Fiona Beals; Kate Dunstan-Brown; Chris Chamberlain; Helen Geddes; Jonathan Edmeades; Cliff Thompson; Jamie Li; Dave Tims; Donna Denmead; Richardson Lau; Christine Saywell; Mike Crudge

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