So much of our time is spent with entertainment and social media these days; we need to reengage with God’s Great Story not only on Sundays.
Like other churches in Europe, the church I lead in Rome, Italy, struggled to minister to people during the COVID-19 pandemic. We lost contact with some of our members and have been unable to hold social events in the past year.
But lockdown taught us an unexpected lesson: the opportunities of ministering to people virtually. We started an online service, online groups, and have been delighted to welcome new people to our family, in Rome and from other parts of Italy.
Recently, a Catholic woman who was undergoing a divorce found one of our sermons about forgiveness and sought our help. That’s the kind of person we need to serve. There are so many others like her, in need of grace and hope.
This week, we launch a platform to help people discover the faith, grow in their faith, and share their faith: Hopera.tv. Besides sermons and services, the platform will publish conversations, worship videos, debates, and discipleship courses.
My hope is that it will help people spend less time on Netflix and more time nurturing their spirit. So much of our time is spent with entertainment and social media these days; we need to reengage with God’s Great Story not only on Sundays but also during the week.
In How to Reach the West Again, Timothy Keller writes,
The crisis is this: despite its incoherent moral cosmology, secular culture has created an enormously powerful, constantly immersive moral ecology through the digital revolution that overwhelms the two or three hours a week Christians worship and study in the church. The amount of time we spend on our phones in a day – the number of images and videos and repetitive slogans we see – makes the most immersive set of practices ever. It engages the imagination with narratives. It makes the influence and consumption of TV (already a concern a generation ago) look tiny by comparison. Those consuming digital content are being deeply catechized for far more hours in a week and far more effectively than anything the church is doing.
Besides traditional church, we need to create various platforms, media, and art forms that embody the story of God’s redemptive love for the world.
With Hopera.tv, we long to reach more than individuals: we also want to help them share their faith and create new groups whenever they live, inviting family members, friends and colleagues to explore the gospel together. My prayer is that, in God’s hands, these groups may grow organically and become seeds for new church plants.
I share this news so friends from around Europe can pray for this new endeavor and be inspired to launch similar ministries in their countries and languages. Take a peek, pray, and dream about your context!
René Breuel is the founding pastor of Hopera, a church in Rome, Italy, and author of The Paradox of Happiness.
Las opiniones vertidas por nuestros colaboradores se realizan a nivel personal, pudiendo coincidir o no con la postura de la dirección de Protestante Digital.
Si quieres comentar o