The world is changing quickly due to COVID-19. Between travel bans and cancellations, many of you are probably wondering how it might affect your lives and your church, East Coast. As you’d imagine, your campus pastors and Co-Lead Pastors Matt and Dan have been meeting about it all week. And, the truth is: things have changed so rapidly that the plan has changed almost every day. In today’s super-connected world, things can change overnight.
Understandably, the Brevard Public school system is canceling all events for a while, which includes our Viera Campus. President Trump has recommended gatherings be kept to 10 and under, and the CDC has recommended 50 or less.
We feel it wise to honor our leaders by changing the way we do church for a couple of weeks. We will still be doing church, but we will be doing it differently for the next two weeks. We will adjust as the situation changes.
We are NOT doing any physical services at any of our Brevard locations. But we WILL BE doing church! Indeed, we have pulled out all the stops. And we are doing a special Online Church Event that you don’t want to miss. When you see what we’re doing, you’re going to LOVE it.
We believe God turns what the enemy means for evil to good. So, East Coast will be hosting a special worship experience. Normally, we hate canceling church, but when you log on, you will see that we AIN’T CANCELLING CHURCH OR THE HOLY SPIRIT (nor could we)!
We are not a church that shrinks back, so we are initiating our greatest outreach ever!
Here is what you can do:
1. SET ASIDE TIME ON SATURDAY NIGHT OR SUNDAY MORNING TO “DO CHURCH” JUST LIKE YOU NORMALLY WOULD.
You need the corporate presence of God; we all do. We know many of you will be watching with your children, and we have them in mind as we craft our services! So, the service length and times will take your whole family into consideration. Don’t just sit at home and watch the news. Go to East Coast Online this weekend. And let’s worship together!
Saturday at 5:30pm
Sunday at 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am and 12 noon
We will be broadcasting the services, so find the right one for your family and plug in!
2. IF WE’RE GOING TO DO “ONLINE CHURCH,” LET’S INVITE THE WHOLE STINKIN’ WORLD TO DO IT WITH US!
Many of us can, will, and should share it on our Facebook feeds. So, share the times and ways your friends can tune in. Then on Sunday afternoon, repost it on social media! We are living in an anxious world, where people need the hope of the gospel now more than ever. What if we had 10-20,000 people attend East Coast virtually this weekend?! This is totally reasonable! We believe God wants to do something big.
3. STAY IN THE LOOP.
Our plans may change next week due to the ever-changing world we are living in right now, but we know we serve a changeless God who said, “I Am God, I change not” and is “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” We have plans to do only “online church services” in the future, but only for as long as we have to. Truth be told, we don’t know how long this will last. In the meantime, however, we are doing church online and in homes.
4. GIVE ONLINE.
We gave 39% of every dollar last year to outreach, missions, and reaching souls. The laws of giving and receiving work in spite of COVID-19! 50% of East Coast already gives online which will make a huge impact on our budget (especially in times like this). Many churches don’t have as many digitally-savvy folks as we do. In times of crisis, many people act selfishly and stingy; they let fear control their lives. But let’s operate in the opposite spirit – the spirit of generosity. You can give HERE anytime!
During this season of our “We See a Church” building campaign, we are releasing everyone to make godly financial decisions concerning the Viera Campus build. We will build in Viera, but we want you to know that if you choose to give toward building there, it is totally up to you. We don’t want anyone to stop what they are sure the Lord wants them to do during this season, but we also don’t want anyone to feel any pressure during this time. This will pass. We will build, and there will be a time for sacrificial giving. But don’t feel any pressure from us now.
5. WE’RE NOT GIVING UP ON SMALL GROUPS!
We’ve been communicating with all of your leaders about how they can do small face-to-face (socially distanced) meet-ups and connect through technology! Please contact your small group leader for info on your group. “Social distancing” does NOT have to mean social isolation! We do life together, no matter what.
Here’s the truth: No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91:10-11
God has a plan for all of us to thrive amidst difficulty. Even more, we believe that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Therefore, as a church, we will not shrink back in shining the light of the gospel. It might not be “business as usual;” however, with your help, we will shine His hope all the brighter.
Lastly, we are launching the “Love Your One Project” for you, our church family.
The game plan looks like this: We will giving you ways to “love your one" every day. We believe that this project can help us make a greater impact on our community through serving than anything we have ever done before. We are also asking our church family to email us stories of impact. Our long-term game plan will transition to feeding and providing resources once our community leaders allow us to rally on the streets again.
In the meantime, this is our short-term game plan: serve our community. We are putting together a 21-day game plan of ideas on how to reach your one. Also included will be a daily declaration of hope and scripture to encourage you and your family as well as others. We believe this can be one of the greatest moments for the local church to shine. All of this is leading into what we believe will be our most impactful Easter to date.
We are praying for you, and we are here for you if you need anything. Let’s bring our neighbors Jesus!
In the love of Christ, while walking in faith,
Pastors Matt, Jessica, and Dan
P.S. Make sure to follow up on our Facebook page. We will be holding short prayer services and sending out encouragements every day!