I am subscribed to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Mission's communication newsletter and one early morning perusing through my mail, I wondered if I had switched the email I was reading.
Within the SVG Mission newsletter was this new segment called Ask Dawn. I will admit I blinked several times and sought to ascertain if I was reading from an official Adventist Newsletter. The initial shock passed, I read and now I actually look forward to the next read!
Ask Dawn is a new feature which allows members and friends to ask any question. The few I have read were simply eye-opening. One question was about 'loving pork ham wondering why I should not eat at Christmas', another a young 'Christian woman who has two boyfriends". It was fresh, it was raw.
I know such an initiative may not sit with some members and leaders but one inescapable truth is this: the Church is forced to realize it does not live in an 'Adventist enclave' within this world. Even Christians have problems too! They are not immune to the struggles and challenges of humanity. We have managed to gloss over, hide and sometimes cover a 'multitude of sins', yet the mandate remains. Point all to Jesus.
The Covid-19 pandemic has ironically being a blessing for our church: it has forced us to do so much differently. The technologies some previously derided are now often our only avenues for ministry. We've been forced to be creative. I've seen church leaders who cared not for social media and technology now using these very tools.
Initiatives like The Ask Dawn segment are new, but they meet a niche to reach members and friends who struggle with issues, who desire help but need anonymity. Let's be honest, the judgmental look, disapproving frown from a member or leader who 'know yuh business' is often enough to keep many members in a state of sinful hopelessness. In this period of ongoing Pandemic, there are reported sharp rises in depression, suicide and other social and psychological issues.
In the book of Matthew 28, Jesus declared to go preach, teach and baptize: the covid-19 pandemic has not changed this mandate! Let the Church with prayer let God lead in reaching the need of His people. Only heaven knows the reach and impact of innovative ministry initiatives. One person may be thanking God even now for an honest but scriptural answer from one of these segments. One single soul is enough: keep up the good work SVG!