By: Lisa Biegert
In less than six months, the word “coronavirus” went from something no one had heard of to all everyone talks about. While the world’s focus has been on COVID deaths, unemployment rates, and how to conduct distance learning for school-age children, those are not the only areas of life the virus affected. For churches, camps, Bible clubs, and Sunday schools, everything changed in a matter of days. Exploring brand-new methods of communication became not just a hobby but essential.
As you will see in this issue, many BCM ministries have flourished even during COVID. What usually takes months—putting an entire program online—has happened on many fields virtually overnight. In fact, virtual attendance for many online camps, Bible clubs, Sunday school classes, and leadership training courses have proved exponentially higher than if they’d been held in “real life.” People limited by time, finances, or distance from attending planned programs, conferences, and trainings found their schedules cleared by quarantine. With events pushed online, constraints like finances and distance are no longer issues. Meanwhile, around the world in BCM churches, services have been streamed online by pastors who never could have imagined that preaching to an empty church and a video camera would result in greater attendance than if their regular congregation had been sitting in the pews.
The flip side has been in countries where the virus itself has done minimal damage but “safer at home” has been far from a reality. If the virus hasn’t attacked, hunger pains have. Unable to work, the poorest have suffered exponentially. Many BCM fields have been involved in relief programs, especially for BCM pastors and families without incomes with churches closed.
To see what BCM is doing around the world during quarantine, check out the articles in this issue. To access some of the many online outreach programs created by BCM field leadership, check out the following links.
- In Spanish – BCM Peru offers Sunday school classes on their Facebook page. Found on Facebook under BCM Peru’s “videos”.
- From Lisa Biegert (N. America/IMC) – gracebiblepa.com/gbc-kids-videos
- Camp Sankanac – Online family resources can be found here.
- Brian Hampshire (N. America) – 13 lesson series on the Attributes of God and another series on the “I Ams” of in the Gospel of John on YouTube
- Mullartown House (Ireland) – Live-Streaming weekly kids’ program every Sunday morning on YouTube under Mullertown House.
- BCM training – especially useful if you were planning on doing training but are unable to do so in person right now: https://www.bcmtraining.org/
- Handi*Vangelism has many resources located here: https://www.hvmi.org/disability-ministries-downloads
- Camp Promise has developed an online discipleship curriculum for people with special needs; it is also on an elementary level that many kids could enjoy: https://www.bigskybiblecamp.org/digging-in/
- BCM Scotland has a 10-episode children’s series based on the beatitudes; can be found on YouTube under Bee Adventure with BCM Scotland