These have been trying times. Now more than ever we long for connection. Many of us are unable to attend church, bible study and gatherings with other believers.
And if you’re anything like me, it is tough! I miss the spiritual connection, the encouragement and the fellowship.
Yes, my schedule was always far too busy and I longed for slower days, but now that I am unable to do these things, I desperately miss it.
How do we connect with other believers when we cannot physically be with them? Doesn’t Scripture say where two or more are gathered there I am? What about when we cannot “gather”?
Today I’m going to share some ways that you can connect with other believers and find that fellowship, even from a distance.
Like many of you, I have been pretty much at home lately. And to add to it all, we welcomed our first baby into our family at the end of January, just as things were about to start closing. It was such a beautiful time and yet so difficult to be apart from community.
I’ve struggled with a lot of postpartum anxiety and I’ve also struggled again with my health postpartum and so it has been tough to be separated from my support system.
What about you? I’m sure there is a ton on your plate as well. This is not an easy time!
God created us to be in fellowship with one another. So whether you are at home with more kids than you can count or you are alone in an apartment, you CAN find that fellowship and support.
Fellowship When We Cannot Gather
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Matthew 18:20
I quoted this verse to my husband one Sunday as I complained of how deeply I missed going to church and missed the connection with our friends and church family.
As much as we tried to recreate church in our home, it was tough not having that fellowship with our church family. It was tough not having the structure of a church service.
But as I thought about this Scripture more, I began to wonder about the meaning of gather. Because if we cannot physically “gather” with others, does that mean church ceases to exist?
I believe that we are blessed to be in a time where we can be connected despite physical separation.
There are so many tools that we can use to “gather” although we are not able to do so physically. From zoom meetings to phone calls, social media to video chats, people all over the world are still “gathering together” to embrace this crazy time.
So let’s dig into some ways that you can “gather together” with other believers and find the presence of God and the encouragement that comes alongside fellowship.
Bible App Devotional
I began doing devotionals on my Bible app after having a baby. Holding a newborn day and night made it difficult to open my heavy Bible and write in my prayer journal.
Someone sent me a devotional on this app and it changed everything. Not only can you read Scripture, note prayers and do devotionals individually, but you can start a devotional with a group of friends and share thoughts each day.
This became a powerful tool that I used with other believers to be strengthened in my faith despite separation. We could connect though we were separated physically.
Some of my favorite devotions were:
- Peace In An Anxious and Fearful World http://bible.com/r/4tb
- Psalm 23 - The Shepherd With Me http://bible.com/r/3Of
- The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry http://bible.com/r/4P2
- [1 John Series] I Was There! http://bible.com/r/4ML
Weekly Video Chats (or Marco Polo)
Committing to weekly video chats with a close friend, mentor or small group is a powerful way to stay connected.
When we first were stuck at home, I spent little time connecting with others this way. Here or there, I’d call a friend, but it wasn’t ever consistent.
When I began scheduling consistent video chats with friends, I found that some of that closeness and encouragement could be rekindled. We cultivated accountability and spiritual encouragement because we were touching base regularly.
If you are unable to video chat, I HIGHLY recommend the app, Marco Polo (where you can send long videos - essentially chatting but on different schedules)
I love love love this app for long-distance friendships and it has become something I use multiple times a day to keep up with family, friends and church family.
Marco Polo Devotionals
Another great idea that someone suggested to me was to do a devotional or study the Bible together via Marco Polo. This allowed me to dive into the Word and spend my own time studying, but then to cultivate that fellowship and growth with others.
After you do your devotional, you can send a video about all that you learned. This is a little bit more personal than the Bible app devotionals and I love it.
You can check out two of Courage. Hope. Love.'s devotionals here:
There are so many Facebook groups out there that are geared towards encouragement, spiritual growth and connection. I have found social media to be a powerful tool during this time.
Although it can be taken to extremes and it can become unhealthy, I realized that it is a great way to connect when we are unable to see the ones we love. You can find groups on any topic, just search a topic and narrow it to search just groups.
Here are some of my favorite Facebook Groups:
You can also click to join my brand new Facebook Group, Natural Mamas with a Mission, where I encourage mamas not only to lead their family in a natural lifestyle but to lead their family in faith as well. Click here to join the group!
I would love to hear how you are staying connected during this time. Share with me in the comments below if you are going to try one of these ways to find that connection with other believers even when we are separated physically!