By all accounts, this past year has been crazy. I never thought I would see the day where cities across the country were shut down. Who ever thought that New York, the “city that never sleeps,” would be completely shut down, and eerily empty, even in the midst of the world-famous Times Square! Every industry was impacted by the COVID issue. Still, in the midst of all of this, one of the most undermined parts of our secularized culture was the church. The political strategy for the church was simply, “stay home.” Very few in our culture regarded the church as an essential institution. Sadly, most churches seemed to agree, not in words, but in actions. Many not only stayed home, but stopped the work of the ministry, altogether. Some even closed permanently due to a lack of finances. Others are only just starting to open up with very strict restrictions. I even heard of some churches that are requiring vaccinations before allowing members to continue coming! As a result, multitudes of church-goers have abandoned going to church, altogether – even to this day.
As you may know, my personal mandate from God was revealed to me over two decades ago: Win the Church to Christ. That mandate has never been clearer, and our church, First Love Fellowship is an expression of that calling. We never shut down. We never stopped having live services. And, we actually established and expanded our reach throughout 2020, and the first half of this year by linking together with ministries and organizations in aiding the suffering during this time of crisis.
Still, with so many no longer going to church, it seems that the mandate must be expanded to the online world. People have access to messages online, but no community. They hear good preaching, but are lonely. There are plenty of messages, but no counsel. People have become scattered like sheep without a Shepherd. My desire is to point wandering people to the Lord, our Great Shepherd. This is why we are now pushing forward with what I like to call, the FLOC – First Love Online Church.
First Love Online Church is a church that is primarily online. It is a church plant where a person can actually be a member of a church, anywhere in the world. It is more than just posting content. It is interaction, and fellowship. Opportunities to establish relationships, meet live in small groups, and organize outreach in your respective communities are all possibilities with the FLOC. However, I need your advice. In order to make this an experience that goes beyond just listening to messages on the internet (which is not church at all), I need to know from you, how an online-based church could make a real impact in your life, and in your community. Please answer these questions by using the link below.
As a part of First Love Fellowship, the ongoing mission will be, Winning the Lost, and Equipping the Found. My desire is to serve, as God awakens the calling and giftings He has given you as you join in on the mission of Jesus. Opportunities to evangelize, volunteer for the needy, make new friends, and even establish a home-based First Love Family group will be available to faithful members. You can help the FLOC become a reality, this Fall by answering the questions and staying in contact with us.
For His glory,
Pastor Niral Burnett