New Instagram, Facebook series 'The Bible Quarantine' helps teens stay spiritually healthy
As many Americans self-quarantine amid the coronavirus outbreak, Nick Hall, the founder of the millennial-led evangelism movement PULSE, has launched a new Instagram TV series to help millennials and teens stay spiritually healthy.
Titled “The Bible Quarantine,” the social media series explores relevant topics such as the meaning of church when people physically cannot meet together for worship and how to deal with fear in the face of the uncertain.
Each episode, available on both Instagram and Facebook, is seven to eight minutes long and is posted every night at 9 p.m. ET. The series’ first episode, “Closed on Sunday,” received an initial 11,400 views across all platforms.
“If I’m honest, this started as a goofy idea. I posted an image of a show idea called ‘The Bible Quarantine’ with the caption ‘Because man shall not live on Netflix alone.’ I was half-joking, but it got a very strong response because people are looking for hope and encouragement during this time of uncertainty,” Hall said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.
According to Hall, the episodes are designed “to encourage you, make you laugh, and challenge you to make the most of this pause in our busy lives.”
“Let’s stay connected to Jesus and each other while we practice wisdom during this season. Who knows what will God say to us when we pause and let Him speak?,” Hall added.
Leveraging technology for the Gospel amid “social distancing,” PULSE also released Move Closer, a mobile app featuring devotional content, Scripture study plans and videos to engage users in uplifting discussions on a variety of topics.
“We have a choice,” Hall said. “We can sit in fear or we can use this forced Sabbath as a time to slow down and come back to what matters. ... I think God’s Word is going to speak to us during this time — and I believe this can be a life-defining season if we invite God in.”
As of Saturday afternoon, the number of novel coronavirus cases has topped 266,000 in 182 countries and territories with 11,100 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13 and on Monday urged the public to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
The administration's call for at least 15 days of social distancing has prompted many churches to provide online alternatives to on-campus worship.
“It’s important to be spending time in community with God’s people even if it’s online,” Max Lucado, pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, told The Christian Post.
Recognizing that many churches aren’t equipped to livestream their entire service, Lucado opted to host a weekly Facebook live service, something he said is “easily accessible” for most people with an internet connection.
“Every week, we do a 15 to 20 minute message and a time of prayer and reflection,” Lucado told CP, adding he will continue to do so “for as long as this lasts.”
“I think this is a time where we need to be feeding our faith,” he continued. “If you feed your faith, your fears will starve. If you feed your fears, your faith will starve. Our tendency is to feed our fears. We have to do intentional things to feed our faith.”
Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen also canceled all his worship services at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, to help contain the coronavirus. The pastor’s message was instead broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, Roku, AppleTV and online at JoelOsteen.com and saw record-breaking numbers.
“We saw 4.51 million people tune in throughout the weekend across platforms,” the church shared with CP.
“This broke our previous record of 4.17 million in November of last year when we broadcast Kanye West’s Sunday service from Lakewood. This number could increase throughout the week.”