Young adults have now become the largest group of COVID-19 patients here. The number of coronavirus patients aged between 20 and 29 has overtaken that of patients aged 60 and above to become the largest infected group, with most young adults having caught the bug overseas, primarily in Britain.⠀ ⠀ Staying home more this season has admittedly been a stretch for Joanne, a 99% extrovert (so her friends say) who needs her daily dose of people. And the thought of having to sit out any social activity should she be sick is enough to make her consider understating any physical discomfort. (She admits she's done this before.)⠀ ⠀ But as in any war, Joanne recognises that she cannot read stories from the frontline, hear government advisories and go on with life normally.⠀ ⠀ It is imperative that we listen to the voices from those very frontlines, telling us that this disease cannot be taken lightly. So while it is good to stay hopeful, it is important to stay safe.⠀ ⠀ Take heart, but please, take the necessary precautions. If it means lowering social engagements and avoiding crowded places where possible, why not make the effort for now? If it means having to wash her hands more often and do more rounds of laundry, so be it. At the same time, Joanne genuinely believes that this is an opportune time for exercising faith and trusting God. To take hold of the fear that may be ebbing and flowing on the inside with every news release and ask ourselves: What exactly have we been believing in and why are we so afraid of a defeated death?⠀ ⠀ So, yes, we must check our temperatures, levels of hygiene and civic consciousness, but not before we check our hearts. Because there is another war that has raged far longer than any virus on this earth – and that is the battle for our hearts, minds and souls.⠀ ⠀ Fear and folly are in one camp. Faith is in the other. Our response to any given situation always reveals our true allegiance. And certainly, we need wisdom all the way through.⠀ —⠀ FOR THE FULL STORY: Young people and COVID-19: Don’t be scared, but please be wise
Depending on who you’ve been talking to, there may have been some concern over the seeming omission of God and Jesus’ name in @youngandfree's latest single Best Friends. But we risk being myopic if we focus on that one (legitimate) observation. It helps also to notice what is there.⠀ ⠀ Forms of music or styles of worship, at the end of the day, are just preferences. That’s all they are – preferences. It’s not something primary or doctrinal even worth fighting or separating over.⠀ ⠀ Throughout the stanzas, there’s a distinct sound of young hearts crying out for something more – a “higher way” – and we get a strong hint of that in the hook of the chorus: “We want the truth… I know it’s You.”⠀ ⠀ You’d have to go out of your way to insist that the song isn’t Christian (and to what end?). The songs aren’t overtly Christian, but they’re not particularly covert in the way they reflect on life and faith either.⠀ ⠀ Think about what the apostle Paul said: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22b).⠀ ⠀ All possible means. What that means is this: If reaching today’s young people with the good news of Jesus Christ looks a lot more like Y&F’s message than Hillsong United or even Don Moen’s – more power to them.⠀ ⠀ While some of you may not be inclined towards Y&F’s new stuff on a musical level, some of the other messages within the latest single are, without exaggeration, actually timeless: All of the lights/ I chased are now faded/ All the cheap thrills/ Were only time wasted⠀ ⠀ You may find the music funny, but the words are familiar; Christ’s redemption of the wayward teenager isn’t new.⠀ ⠀ From Augustine of Hippo’s years of hedonism to Edmund Chan’s youthful period of rebellion, God has always been working in the hearts of young people and turning them back to His love, for thousands of generations.⠀ ⠀ So go on, guys. We're glad you’re “sick of pretending”. The truth is better – and we will all find it in Jesus.⠀ —⠀ FOR THE FULL STORY: Old man listens to Hillsong Y&F’s “Best Friends” and finally gets it
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom has become a primary social platform for millions of people worldwide – from students to working professionals. But did you know that you can also use Zoom for church? Many church services may have been suspended, but the Church has not stopped. While we’re physically apart for this season, we can still meet together – from our own rooms, online. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using Zoom for your online cell groups or ministry meetings. — FOR THE FULL STORY: How to use Zoom for your online cell groups: One House, many (virtual) rooms (p.s. We also have a guide done for Google Hangouts if you might prefer an alternative, so check it out on our site!) #zoom #zoomies #COVID19 #coronavirus
In light of recent developments, the way we do church will have to evolve. And we don’t mean scaling back our ministries, because the gospel is more relevant than ever in these dark times. While the situation worldwide keeps evolving, the Great Commission hasn’t changed. It’s a mission from Jesus we are privileged to carry out until the end of time (Matthew 24:14). So wherever we are, whatever the situation may be, may our feet always be ready to carry the Gospel of Peace. How then, do we take the gospel online?
When Edric read the news that two people in Singapore – one elderly, one a foreigner – had succumbed to COVID-19, he cried. Driving down the expressway, surrounded by a wall of his children’s noise, he cried as if nobody could see him. For Case 90, the 75-year-old Singaporean woman who first reported symptoms on February 9. For Case 212, the 64-year-old man who came to Singapore from Indonesia with pneumonia, in the hope the treatment here could help him. We don’t know them personally. Neither, in all likelihood, do you. Why would we care enough to shed a tear for them? Because, because, because… where do we begin? Maybe it’s difficult to reconcile the power of prayer with the sting of death. It’s okay to admit, even as faith-filled Christians, there is much about this world that we cannot fully comprehend. Not just okay – it’s something that’s necessary to admit, because if we’ve really got everything figured out, then our faith would be no faith at all. But no, faith is a conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1), a leaning not on our own understanding (Proverbs 4:6). How does that work? The flags of faith we fly today must fly at half-mast. We mourn because this human condition – frail bodies under unceasing attack – warrants mourning. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). But we need to understand that as believers, mourning cannot last forever. Doing so means we are forever bound by the transience of this body, the sting of death, the curse of the grave. And so, we have the choice whether to sink deeper into the pit of despair, or to take His hand as offers to pull us out of the pit. All the signs of the End of this Age, as we see it, feel like they’re falling into place. It is time to get our houses in order, time to reflect and repent and time to preach the Gospel, because this hopeless world needs hope like never before. This night is ending soon. Morning will bring with it joy; the Spirit and the Bride say, come. Come, Lord Jesus. — FOR THE FULL STORY: COVID-19 and the pit of despair: Death, mourning and the morning after