As the nation continues to work through its response to COVID-19, the leadership at Gospel Life Church has been monitoring the situation to stay informed on the latest news and recommendations. In order to respond to the situation in the most responsible manner possible, we will seek to follow the recommendations from our federal government, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and Texas authorities as the situation continues to develop.
In responding to the spread of this virus, the pastors of Gospel Life Church feel this is an opportunity to honor and submit to the governing authorities in place as they seek to curb the social impact of this virus (Romans 13:1-7). Secondly, we see this as an opportunity to care for each other, for the elderly in the church, and for The City of New Braunfels at large as Gospel Life Church seeks to minimize its contribution to the spread of the virus. At this time, the leadership of the church does not feel the governing recommendations are an imposition to its religious liberties, but rather an effort to protect the health and well-being of its citizens.
As such, the current plan for the ministry of the church is outlined below.
Per the recommendation from the federal government to “avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people for 15 days” the leadership at Gospel Life Church has decided to cancel regular, in-person, Sunday Gatherings for the remainder of March. In lieu of our normal Sunday Gathering, we will hold livestream-only Sunday Gatherings for March 22 and March 29. These gatherings will:
- Be posted to our website, YouTube, and Facebook on Sundays at 10AM.
- Will consist of singing, preaching of the Word, and prayer.
As pastors, we recognize this is not the ideal way to gather as a local church, however, we are thankful for the technology that allows us to gather, albeit in a decentralized manner, for worship through song, the preaching of the Word, and prayer.
As you prepare to participate in the livestream gatherings, please take the following recommendations into consideration:
Come Prepared for Worship. Make an effort to maintain some sense of a rhythm of gathering and prepare yourself (and your family) for that time together. For families, this is a particular opportunity for men to uphold the role of headship as you lead your family in participation.
- Plan to watch at 10AM.
- Pray for the leadership of the church and your fellow congregants.
- At your discretion and comfort, watch together with another family and/or individual(s).
Be present. Work hard to be present and to commit to this time together. Do your best to engage and listen.
- Turn off or silence any other electronic devices.
- Avoid distractions or multi-tasking.
- Open your Bible and take notes.
- Plan for a particular spot in which you (and your family) will tune in together.
As it regards our plans for Sunday Gatherings after the 15-day period, we are aware the CDC has also recommended that gatherings of more than 50 people be postponed for 8 weeks. As the situation continues to develop, we will consider all viable options for how to proceed for the long-term and communicate our plan for Sunday Gatherings as new information comes to light.
At this time, the leadership of Gospel Life Church is extending the freedom to our Gospel Communities (GCs) to meet as they are comfortable. For some of our GCs, this may mean continuing to meet as they normally do, for some, it may be a new rhythm of meeting, while others may take the liberty to stop meeting for a time. What we will be encouraging our Gospel Communities to do during this time is the following:
- GC Leaders will keep in personal contact (phone, text, or email) with each of the families/individuals in their group. Regular attendees not participating in a GC will be allocated to existing GCs in order that communication and care is maintained.
- All group members should be encouraged to maintain contact with one another to assist in caring for each other. This can be done via group messaging (e.g. Realm, GroupMe, etc.).
- While your entire GC may not meet as normal, consider inviting a family or individual over as you are comfortable – emotional and spiritual support within the body is still vital during this time.
- During this time, you likely have neighbors who are in need – particularly the elderly or those with existing medical issues. Consider using this time as an opportunity to connect with them and help meet needs as you are able. This can be a time for the the church, as followers of Christ, to love those around us.
Communication & Care
As pastors, we also recognize the need for increased communication and care during a time like this. We are committed to staying in touch as we realize it is vital to the health of our church while we operate for some period of time in a decentralized manner. First, we want to remind you that as your live your daily lives, worship of God the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit does not cease – please seek to maintain your rhythms of staying connected to God’s Word, spending time in prayer, and connecting with others as your feel comfortable.
In our efforts to care for you, we as elders plan to:
- Personally call our Covenant Members and regular attendees over the course of the next few weeks to check in and see if there are any personal needs or prayer requests.
- Continue to meet on Wednesdays to pray over the current situation, the church, and our community. We plan to record and share with you this prayer time along with a weekly encouragement. We encourage you to watch this video and join us in prayer.
- Create an online “Connection Card” where you can let us know of any needs we should be aware of. We recognize as our country works through slowing the spread of this virus, it will take a toll on your family in one way or another – please be encouraged to make us aware of any physical, financial, or spiritual needs.
Our children’s ministry team is committed to serving you well. During this time you can continue to expect resources from them to help guide you in the discipleship of your children. We pray that you will utilize these resources as you intentionally seek to care for the spiritual well-being of your children.
So that we may continue the ministry God has called us to as a church, we encourage you to continue offering your financial support. For those of you that normally give via our Sunday Gatherings, you may utilize this link to make your donations: Give. Or, you may mail your checks to:
Gospel Life Church
P.O. Box 311198
New Braunfels, TX 78131
We’re so thankful for each of you. Our hope and prayer for you all is that within the current social changes, you recognize new rhythms for engaging God’s Word, in community, and in prayer. We hope the Lord illuminates and redeems time to spend with your families – perhaps even serve a neighbor or two. In everything God is at work and our hope and trust in Him rests on the finished work of Christ.
GLC Elder Team