As of Friday, May 29, 2020, we are continuing our Online+ approach to ministry amidst a global pandemic, stewarding every opportunity for ministry available to us online while spreading God’s love across our city and exploring unique avenues for in-person gatherings. By God’s grace, we were able to distribute boxes filled with food and a gospel invitation to over 10,000 families in the past week alone! As we evaluate opportunities for in-person gatherings, we are excited to share that we will be hosting Drive-In Worship and Prayer Nights for each of our locations across our city in coming weeks, beginning this weekend at MBC Montgomery County.
We invite you to worship with us online at mcleanbible.org at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, or 5 pm each Sunday. In addition, we invite you to read below and/or visit our Next Steps page for more ways you can get or stay connected with others during these days. At this time, all MBC buildings (at all of our locations) remain closed with the exception of staff and/or volunteers whose work necessitates being at a building.
In the midst of these challenges, we are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support of all that is happening in and through our church family across our city and around the world. We ask you to continue to faithfully give at mcleanbible.org/give.
As a church, we are grateful for the freedom to gather for worship in our buildings, and we all long to do so. We literally cannot wait to see everyone!
We also realize that different people have different perspectives on when we should resume in-person gatherings in our buildings. Some members believe we should do so immediately, while others believe we should wait much longer. Even various leaders have different opinions. In the midst of this uncharted territory, together we have decided to proceed slowly and to wait to resume worship gatherings in our buildings for now. The following seven factors have led us to this decision:
In sharing these factors as reasons why we are slow to gather in our buildings again, we hope to communicate to you and to our community that we love you. We are indeed eager to gather in our buildings again soon, and we commit to do so as soon and as safely as possible. We are continually evaluating the factors above as well as others that arise, and we are committed to providing any new updates on this page every week by 5 pm on Friday.
In the meantime, let’s remember: MBC is not closed! We are absolutely open for business. The church is not a building, but a body of people committed to loving God and loving one another while spreading the good news of God’s love in the world around us. And a global pandemic cannot stop us from doing these things! In fact, we invite you to gather online with us in particular this Sunday, May 31, as we celebrate graduates, and then on Sunday, June 7, when we will share exciting plans that we believe God is leading us toward as a church in the years ahead.
Yes! In addition to our remote worship gatherings online every Sunday and classes and connecting points through our Next Steps page, we are hosting Drive-In Worship and Prayer Nights starting May 30 at our Montgomery County location and continuing throughout June for all of our other locations. We recently hosted a Drive-In Worship and Prayer Gathering for our staff as a way of evaluating this kind of experience, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. We know that drive-in services will never be a substitute for in-person worship, but we do believe it is a step in the right direction for those who would like to physically gather together. You can find specific information about upcoming gatherings in the days ahead at MoCo and Prince William through the different social media channels for those locations. For those of you who attend the Tysons Campus, please mark your calendars for Sunday evening, June 14. Arlington and Loudoun will follow soon afterward. More details to come!
In addition, we are exploring other ways we might be able to gather in person outdoors. For now, gatherings in Maryland, Virginia and DC are still limited to 10 people or fewer. As soon as larger gatherings are permitted, we will release detailed guidance to our group leaders. We will likely recommend that our groups look for outdoor locations to gather for all of the reasons set forth above.
As we navigate all of these new challenges together, let us always be sensitive to differing levels of comfort among different people when making decisions about gathering together again. We will continually evaluate the options above as well as other options that might arise, and we will keep you up to date on this site regarding any further developments.
We are encouraging groups across our church to consider alternate means for staying as biblically and closely connected to one another as possible during this time. Go HERE for more detailed recommendations and resources for groups. In addition, we have compiled recommendations and resources for families, students, and children during this time. Check out our Resources for Parents and Children and A Simple Guide to Family Worship.
In the midst of a global pandemic, we want to be a clear picture of God’s love across our city. One of the ways we can show God’s love is by participating in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing. That’s why we’re not gathering together in person – because this is one of the best ways we can love others right now. At the same time, we don’t want to isolate people who are in need all around us. As a church together and as individual Christians, we want to care for others in any way that we can according to all the health and safety guidelines and recommendations made by government leaders and health professionals.
Therefore, we are coordinating a church-wide effort to provide help and deliver soap and food products to neighbors and communities in need. We have a network of relationships with schools and other churches, and they have shared with us about the need for food for children in light of them not being in school, and for families in light of various challenges at work. As a result, we are working closely with local officials according to CDC guidelines to pack and deliver helpful products to communities across our city. Click HERE for more details about this church-wide effort, and fill out this Interest Form if you’d like to get involved.
In addition, we are also encouraging church members to reach out individually to people in your neighborhoods who might need help during this time. You can download and print this flyer to connect individually with your neighbors in order to care for them. Keep in mind that as you distribute these flyers to your neighbors, you are personally assuming responsibility for helping them as much as you can. We are working to have care packages with soap and food products available at MBC campuses so that you can come to one of our buildings, pick up care packages, and deliver them to neighbors, as needed.
Finally, if you are a member of MBC and you have specific needs for help, please contact us here.
NOTE: The link below is updated with new information as of May 26, 2020.
Our Global Outreach staff is continually consulting various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Based upon this information, we are making determinations concerning any needs to adjust, postpone, or cancel trips. At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel through consultation with medical professionals, as appropriate. For more detailed, up-to-date information on MBC short-term mission trips in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), please click HERE.
For all the recommended ways in how to respond physically to the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus. Please also alert your church family so that we can best help and support you.
Regardless of age or medical condition, we encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
Join us on Facebook Live every day at noon as we pray together.
In an effort to reach those that might not have access to Internet in their home, nursing home, or hospital room, we have made a phone number available that allows you to listen to our online gatherings live! Know someone this would benefit? Please share with them!