Church Plant Media loves the local church. I suspect that might ring a little hollow after receiving 15 emails from restaurants and retail outlets you’ve forgotten you patronized lately. After all, providing a service to the church is our bread and butter and you’d rightly expect us to say that type of thing. But what I mean is that we are experiencing the same thing that many of you are.
I’m an elder candidate in a PCA church plant in Richmond, VA. Covid-19 has drastically affected the way we are doing ministry. Like you, we’ve turned to streaming our service. Like you, the leaders of our body, myself included, are having regular conversations on how to creatively and effectively keep our flock connected to one another, rooted and grounded in God’s word, clinging to the faith once delivered to the saints and even joyful in the midst of a turbulent time. We love the local church because we are a part of it as well and are suffering through the same thing.
This past Sunday, while I was part of the team putting together our own livestream, the Church Plant Media team was monitoring our servers, updating one another and trying as best we could to keep sites running smoothly. I had one eye on my pastor faithfully preaching from Luke and another on an open laptop, trying not to distract him, looking at server CPU usage, traffic logs, and database I/O requests. It’s no exaggeration to say I felt some of the weight of the many tens of thousands of my dear brothers and sisters on my shoulders for several hours. If a site goes down or experiences slow load times, it pains us.
My wife can attest to the many prayers we, as a family, have offered to God, not just for Crown & Joy in Richmond but for the church universal and the ones that depend on Church Plant Media. I run downstairs a couple of times a day with an update on solutions we’re thinking of and implementing for the good of the church. I’ve worked 10-14 hour days for much of the past 2 weeks to help ensure that our service is reliable and you can get information out to your congregants. And yet, we know this is nothing compared to what many of the pastors and elders in affected areas are experiencing now. We know you labor among your flock and often feel as Paul did: "For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself." We’d never presume that our experience is equivalent to an apostle or even what you as pastors or leaders feel but we’re trying to bear some of that with you, as partners, because we deeply love the church and want to see you succeed in the mission God has given his body.
Keep pressing on family, and we’ll be doing our small part (which seems to have gotten a bit bigger lately) to ensure that you can shepherd the flock of God entrusted to you. Building websites for churches is not just a decent business plan for us here. It is what each of us believe we are called to right now and we're in this together with you, as congregants, elders, small group leaders and children of God, looking to our Heavenly Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be His name!
Ben is the senior developer at Church Plant Media.