Four months have passed since we moved during the pandemic and began our adventure to GrowNOLA. We are encouraged by how God is moving in some powerful ways in our church of under 100.

In July, The New Orleans Church decided to start meeting in person on Sundays while continuing to have midweeks on Zoom. We serve in the ministry alongside Steve and Bonny Stephenson and we had many discussions with them and other leaders about how to move forward. We were not sure how everyone would do worshipping together, but we felt with God we could try. We sought to listen to concerns and put together solutions.

Sundays do feel a little different, and we appreciate the cooperation of the church to love one another in new ways. Everyone gets their temperature taken before entering the worship area. If people are sick with cold symptoms, they stay home. Masks are mandatory, so we look and sound a little different. We don’t sing but instead listen to our worship leader play songs on the piano as we meditate on the words shown on the screen.

Although talking through masks and spreading out without hugging can seem awkward, people are finding ways to enjoy being able to meet together in a safe way. God is not limited by these precautions. People in our community are looking to connect and we have seen guests coming to our services each week. We have the service also on YouTube for those who are not comfortable meeting in person or those that are sick. The New Orleans Church has been so encouraged to see God moving as we find ways to use technology and carefully come together.

Since the beginning of the pandemic we have had four baptisms and continue to have new Bible studies, which primarily are taking place on Zoom.

The teen ministry has seen momentum with monthly outdoor fun events where everyone wears masks and Zoom teen devotionals with our neighboring congregation in Baton Rouge, the Bridge Church. The online aspect has been a great way to bring teens together in the two cities, as well as connect with teens in Houston and DFW. Two teens have been baptized in New Orleans and one in Baton Rouge with several beginning to study the Bible since the pandemic started. The teens are bringing friends to the various events as well.

We are launching a campus ministry this fall to minister to our 11 universities. We will have Friday night Bible discussions at the park. Reach out will consist of masking up and hitting the campuses and promoting on Instagram.

The singles ministry is also figuring out how to navigate this new normal. They recently hosted a Dream Night in some disciples’ back yard, again with guests in attendance. Masks, social distancing, individual snacks, and even a fire pit and s’mores were used to encourage the group. It was an inspiring time to write our dreams for God on balloons and then let them all go.

God is on the move in New Orleans. We are praying for more disciples to move here to help spread the gospel. Learn more about how you can helps us GrowNOLA.