Latest news about Covid-19 (coronavirus) and
North Coast Church
Growth Group and Pastoral Care update
Update for all NCC Growth Groups: We can’t meet physically but we can still grow in Christ together and love one another.
As you know, recent government mandated limitations on social groups makes meeting physically as Growth Groups very unwise. BUT that doesn’t stop Jesus from growing His church! We can’t meet physically but we can still grow in Christ together and love one another.
Here are some ways you can continue to growth together in this difficult time.
1. Pray for your Growth Group regularly
- Share prayer updates and requests
- Pray for each individual in your group
- Share some resources to help you pray (e.g. Prayermate)
2. Communicate with each other every week
- Use email, text, WhatsApp etc.
- Give each other a call
3. Engage with the Growth Group studies each week
- Download the study each week https://northcoastchurch.org.au/studies
- Have a go at completely the study on your own
- Share encouragements and challenges from the study
4. Identify any needs in your group and form a plan to care for each other
- Ask your others in your group how they are doing
- Care individually for people in need
- Contact our Pastoral Care Team if needed [email protected]
- See the ‘Pastoral Care – Coronavirus Response’ attachment below for more details
5. Gather together online each week
- For those who are able ZOOM is a very easy platform to meet as a group online
- Alternatively, see what other tools are available to gather online in the attachment below
6. Join North Coast Live in the Lounge each Wednesday Night
Suspending public gatherings at NCC in response to COVID-19
Jesus. People. Eternity. These are our top three priorities at NCC.
In order to do the second of these three priorities, we have made the decision to suspend all public gatherings of NCC until further notice. This includes Essentials which was due to begin tonight as well as Pipeline Kids Club, North Coast Youth, Gospel Man which was due to take place this Saturday 21st March, and all Sunday gatherings. The only meeting which will continue at this stage is the Thursday morning Revive prayer meeting.
Growth Groups will continue entirely at the discretion of those groups. Please be in touch with your Growth Group leader. Growth Groups remain our best vehicle of practical care in our church. We have published some helpful information for all the Growth Groups which can be accessed below.
In order to continue with the first of our three priorities, we continue to do everything we can to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only solid hope in tumultuous times. To this end we are continuing our preaching series in the book of Romans which will be broadcast online. We believe that at times like this people need the rock-solid steady preaching of God’s word more than ever. Countless Christians in previous centuries have found the regular preaching of God’s word provides priceless comfort in all circumstances.
In order to access the sermons please see our website for details. Furthermore, we are putting things in place and purchasing the necessary equipment that will enable us to begin livestreaming church services.
As regards the third of our priorities, we continue to look to eternity. The moment we became followers of Jesus Christ this world was taken from us. We died to the world and we are strangers and aliens in it. And so we look up and look forward to the world where no virus will ever enter. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus seated at God’s right hand and continue to rejoice that He is Lord of all.
As John Newton said, “Nothing hinders God’s wisdom and goodness. Every drop of rain hits its appointed target and every dust particle is carried by the wind to its appointed resting place.” Trust our Father, everything is going exactly according to His perfect plan for all eternity.
FAQ re Coronavirus and NCC
Why would we suspend NCC Sunday gatherings?
Here are our top 3 reasons
- We will reach more people with the word of God. Because of the coronavirus, some people are staying away from our Sunday gatherings and therefore are not under the preached word. Suspending Sunday gatherings and streaming the sermons instead for everyone will reach more of NCC and beyond.
- We want to love people and care for their health (and minimise risk to NCC). Some folk have returned from overseas and have come to our gatherings. This is something we can’t avoid. Suspending Sunday gatherings means we are ahead of the game in caring for those at risk
- The Government recommends this and is very likely to ban smaller gatherings soon. Yes, we’re not at 500 people at the moment but we’re close. The wise and godly move is to follow the Govt. advice.
How will sermons be available online?
We will do everything we can to enable you to have access to the preaching of God’s word. Sermons will be available each Sunday morning through our website and available for you to watch and listen afterwards. The front page will give you the option to either listen or watch online. Alternatively, you can also access our sermons through Spotify or YouTube
Will NCC livestream the whole Sunday service? When will that happen?
We are looking to move our Sundays from physical gatherings to online gatherings. We are currently working towards livestreaming our Sunday services. This requires a significant cost and an upgrade in our hardware. We hope to have services livestreaming on Sundays in the very near future.
When will we be able to meet normally as church again?
We are not sure when we will be able to resume normal Sunday gatherings at NCC. We have high level medical professionals advise us and will obviously also adhere to the government guidelines.
Are there other things I can do to grow as a Christian while there’s no Sunday gatherings?
There are many ways to continue to grow in Jesus Christ despite the postponement of our Sunday gatherings. Under the RESOURCES tab on our website you will find sermons, Bible devotions, Growth Group studies, publications and online training. If you’d like to access our RESOURCE POINT to purchase books please email us: [email protected]
Is there an online ministry for kids and youth at NCC?
Our Kids and Youth Pastors are working on producing online talks and activities for our young people. Please check the website for more details. For some suggestions on how to talk to your children about how we as Christians can understand and process everything related to the coronavirus, here’s a helpful article.
Who do I contact if I have a specific need during this time?
If you are a member of North Coast and have a specific need for help, your first point of contact will be your Growth Group Leader. If you are not in a Growth Group, then please email us: [email protected]
Where should I go to find out the latest updates about North Coast?
Your one stop shop, your place to go for all the latest news and updates is our website: www.northcoastchurch.org.au
Recommendations and Resources for Growth Groups
With a desire to love our neighbors as ourselves and an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community amidst a global pandemic that is affecting our nation, as of Sunday, March 22, all North Coast gatherings will be suspended and our preaching series will be broadcast online until further notice. More information about what this means and why we have made this decision is available at northcoastchurch.org.au.
So, what does this mean for various groups in our church who are used to gathering together in person on a regular basis? We have many different types and sizes of groups across our church family, and this document applies to all of those types and sizes – basically, to any group of church members who normally gather together to care for one another, grow as disciples, or make disciples. The following includes recommendations as well as resources for such groups and their leaders. We will continually update this document with new information as the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) develops.
WHAT IS NORTH COAST RECOMMENDING FOR GROUPS AT THIS TIME?
Our over-arching recommendation for groups is to work hard to keep the members of your group as biblically (see Romans 12:9-13) and closely connected to one another as is wisely possible. The obvious question this statement raises is, “What is wise?” We have already stated that we do not believe it is wise for the hundreds of members of our church to gather for worship as we normally do because of the risks involved with potentially exposing many people to this different and distinct virus.
As a growth group leader or Titus 2 leader, you are best equipped to know the people in your groups and are best placed to know if a similar potential to exposure might exist. And so, we suggest you apply your wisdom accordingly if you should meet or not. Please keep up to date with the latest government requirements as this may preclude meeting at some point.
In addition, we recommend that you go out of your way to cultivate personal contact with each other. Make phone calls to members of your group, text frequently (either individually or in group texts), email encouragement, or use other social media channels like WhatsApp or Facebook (both of which have functionality for groups) to stay connected.
RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS FOR GROWTH GROUP/TITUS 2 MEETINGS
We strongly recommend the following precautions for the good not only of the people who are gathering, but of all the people you will interact with after your gathering.
- Do not attend if you are sick, experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19), or if you have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Fully disinfect all surfaces before and after your gathering.
- Wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) upon arrival at the gathering and upon returning to your home.
- Either wash hands or make use of hand sanitizer as appropriate during the gathering.
- Avoid hand-shaking and hugging, opting instead for gestures like elbow bumping that avoid skin-to-skin contact.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover any cough or sneeze.
- Serve any food or drink individually.
- Maintain appropriate distance between members of different households and their belongings.
It is possible that some members of a group may feel comfortable gathering in person while other members of a group may not feel comfortable gathering in person. We encourage group leaders to be understanding and supportive of each person’s conscience, and to find appropriate or helpful ways to include members of a group who are not present physically (online, by phone, or through other means).
WHAT RESOURCES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR GROUPS TO USE DURING THIS TIME?
Sermon Series: Each week you will be able to watch or listen to the talks online and we are working towards live streaming the service for you. Click here to access the same.
Growth Group Studies: We will continue to provide growth group studies that complement the preaching. We encourage you to also each week watch a recorded version of the talk which can also fuel discussion among group members during the week. Click here to access the same.
Daily Bible Meditations: Each meditation is exactly 500 words to help you discover the diamond in the text. Click here to access the same.
WHAT SHOULD GROUP LEADERS DO FIRST?
We encourage group leaders to start by putting together a plan (even if that plan is only for the next week, and will be updated for following weeks) for how your group will stay closely connected with each other. Then, share that plan with your entire group, and create a clear avenue of communication with you and with each other. This might be over a group email, a group text, WhatsApp or another platform. Try to include in your communication any specific details you have about when and how your group will next meet together. Direct your people to watch or listen to the talks online each week. God’s word will continue to be a comfort to us during these times.