Indonesia Ministry Update—Sufficient Is His Grace
Since early March 2020, Indonesia has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other countries, we had to follow social distancing measures and close all gathering places such as schools, worship facilities, and restaurants. As a result, True Jesus Church Indonesia made a huge effort to switch from in-person worship at the church to online services.
After our first live trial, we felt that we needed a lot of improvement in order to continue live-streaming services. Given our limitations, we relied on God, not one hundred percent, but one thousand percent. We pleaded to God for His strength and guidance. Truly there was no one in the General Assembly of Indonesia who was skilled at setting up an online event. Even with just one channel, we faced many difficulties with technological issues and an unstable Internet connection during our first attempts. Our building did not have a great signal, which caused our streaming to lag.
Thanks to the Lord, with this experience we improved ourselves and pursued more knowledge in live-streaming and online services. We thank God that we were given the opportunity to improve our programs in both evangelical and pastoral work because of this pandemic, through existing and new methods in order to reach and maintain the faith of our members in all different places:
- Online evangelical services are being held once a month through Zoom. Afterward, follow-up is conducted through Zoom meetings to get to know the truth-seekers and to conduct a question-and-answer session on the Basic Belief topics that are delivered.
- In addition to the regular Sabbath service held via YouTube, online pastoring includes religious education classes, youth fellowships, young couple fellowships, and the like. Each of these groups meets on Zoom at their scheduled times.
- We have created new programs through podcasts that can be accessed through YouTube (audio and video streaming) and Spotify (audio streaming only). The True Jesus Church Indonesia podcast contents includes: Heavenly Hymns, a collection of hymns recorded by various TJC youth choirs; Anchor for the Souls, a collection of short devotionals in audio format; Our Daily Bread, live discussions or question-and-answer sessions on daily life difficulties; and Voice of Hope, a collection of testimonies in audio format. Other newly developed programs are mobile applications and telegrams.
- Combining various talents of our TJC youth, promotional media in text and video formats are made available to members and truth-seekers, local and abroad, through social media. The words of God in the form of audio sermons, video sermons, the quarterly Warta-Sejati magazine, other Bible study or character study publications, and religious education materials can be accessed or downloaded easily to one’s gadget, whenever one is on the way to work or at home.
Let all these newly improved methods of online digital church service become like wisdom according to the book of Proverbs:
“Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors” (Prov 8:1-3).
- In order to reach out to members, TJC Indonesia also provided a workshop for the visitation team to train and encourage members. This program is called “Caregiving,” in place of physical visitations. Before the pandemic, every week our visitation teams sent three to four teams accompanied by the preacher to visit the sick or any other members in need. Since this pandemic occurred, visiting teams are “jobless” because they cannot go to members’ houses. Most of the visitation teams’ members are elderly members.
Indonesia GA also thinks about these issues, not only to give divine work to our elderly members but also to reach out, strengthen, and advance our pastoral work. We need to know what members face issues that affect all elements—which members really need God most during this hardship. We are all hoping this outbreak will be over soon.
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5).