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BECOMING THE CHURCHWITHOUT WALLS

In February 2020, church gatherings suspended in Hong Kong. Elderly church members who had never missed a Sunday worship in their lives were devastated, torn between their devotion to God and their obligation to others. Opportunely, in 2019, we had started video recording our worship services. Our church had equipment to do online services. Our pastors, though, were not used to speaking in front of a camera and without a live audience. So, with a few untrained staff and volunteers, we uploaded our Sunday service to YouTube. A few days before Sunday, we sent the link through WhatsApp to our small group network. On Sunday, we monitored the number of viewers closely. Our audience, which started with 150 viewers, grew to over 1,800 by the end of the day. Almost simultaneously, our AWANA children’s church began producing videos for different age groups. Soon, our Youth Action Group (YAG) started their worship service via Zoom. Ultimately, we had our Evangelism Sunday and our Holy Week devotion series online. We even produced a six-session Marriage Spirituality series. We were determined to stay connected to God’s people. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18 NIV). In February 2021, eleven people from our church attended the Asia Pacific Media Creative Video Production Training, an intensive 10-day training on video/audio production and social media. It was an eye-opener for our church participants. During our debriefing, it became evident that what impressed them most were the issues concerning how to connect to their audience, what message they needed to send, and what they wanted viewers to do after they heard the message. The people of Hong Kong have long thought hard work and affluence would give them happiness. They need the peace and hope in Christ. It is the goal of our church to use media to reach the people of our city to make Him known. JOSIE LEUNG - HONG KONG

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