Amidst concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to let you know how Northside is responding.
Due to recommendations from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the City of Springfield to not assemble more than 250 people, we are moving our morning services for Sunday, March 15 to an all-online format.
We are still the Church. The Body of Christ is not a campus, a mailing address, a worship service, a program, or a website; it’s all followers of Jesus, whether gathered or scattered, looking to Him and living for Him. We pray this season without our usual Sunday morning gatherings is short, but, even during this time, we are free to worship our God, love our families and neighbors, show by our hope and our kindness the difference Jesus makes, and invite others to follow Jesus with us.
Our leadership and staff team is monitoring the situation and taking note of recommendations issued by the CDC, WHO, and local, state and federal government. We are committed to providing a safe environment for our church family and community. We will update this page as information evolves.
Is Northside gathering in person this Sunday?
Due to recommendations from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the City of Springfield to not assemble more than 250 people, we are moving our services for Sunday, March 15 to an all-online format. No in-person Sunday morning services will be held on Sunday, March 15. This is a temporary compromise not an ongoing convenience.
Services will stream via our YouTube channel at all 3 service times – 9:00, 10:15 and 11:30. Video of the service will be available for on-demand viewing after the first service is finished.
What is the best way to worship online this Sunday?
The easiest, most direct way to participate with us this Sunday is to go online to YouTube.com/user/northsidechristian/live. We will also post direct links to our Sunday service online on this page, via our Facebook page and via text message. You can also access the YouTube channel via our NCC Springfield app, or search for “Northside Christian Church Springfield Mo” in your YouTube app.
Some tips to help you make the most of your online worship time:
- Access the links early to test them with your phone, computer and/or TV. Consider using a casting device or screen mirroring to enable watching on your TV.
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel to easily access our content and to get updates when we go live.
- Gather elements for communion on Saturday, so you are ready for that time in the service on Sunday.
- Use the NCC Springfield mobile app to access bulletin notes, online giving, the live stream and more.
- Do you live close to family or people in your small group? Consider meeting with a small group of people to worship together, if you are all well. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation, if we are cautious. Reach out and encourage one another.
What about youth Life Groups and small groups?
Because our Sunday evening Life Group program does not exceed 250 people, Northside Youth plans to continue meeting at this time. However, modifications to the programming will take place. No group games will be played. Students will move immediately into their small groups.
See the precautions section below for details on more steps Northside is taking to prepare our facilities.
We are not cancelling small groups across the board. Instead, we are encouraging our groups to decide amongst themselves about meeting. While we are encouraged to limit large group meetings, we can still meet together in smaller groups, if we are cautious. The church building may be used by small groups scheduled to meet there. If your group decides not to meet in person, we encourage you to check in on one another and to consider a virtual meeting, using a platform like Google Hangouts or Zoom.
Should people come to Northside if they are feeling sick?
We place a high priority on gathering together as the church; however, if you are feeling sick or running a fever, the best way you can love your neighbor is by staying home.
If you or someone you know is sick, reach out to family, friends and your small group by using technology, like group messaging apps, Zoom for virtual meetings, etc. Continue to love and serve your neighbors.
What precautions is Northside taking?
If you are coming to the Northside facility this week, please know that, in addition to our normal facility cleaning and maintenance, we are:
- Ensuring all bathrooms are well stocked with soap and paper towels.
- Wiping down all frequently touched surfaces, like door handles, tables, light switches, etc., in addition to our normal cleaning.
- Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the building, including by check-in stations.
- Encouraging people to greet one another with smiles and waves rather than handshakes.
- Planning to prop open lobby doors.
- Encouraging any volunteers and staff members to stay home if they are not feeling well.
In all of our children’s ministry areas, especially our nursery, our volunteers clean surfaces used by our children after each service. This includes cleaning of toys, swings, bouncers, tables, etc. During the week, all of our toys and play elements are cleaned after each use of a children’s room and deep cleaned before each Sunday morning.
In all of our children’s spaces, we will continue to follow our “sick free zone” health policy. This means we will not admit any child with an elevated temperature (above 99.6 F). Also, a child must be free of fever, vomiting and diarrhea for a full 24 hours. You can help us by monitoring your children for any symptoms and being understanding if we feel we cannot accept your kids into our programs due to health concerns.
How can I respond spiritually to the coronavirus?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that is highly contagious and has resulted in significant disruption to peoples plans, schedules, relationships, economic situations, and living situations. People are experiencing anxiety, fear, frustration, confusion and many questions.
How should a Christian respond?
- Respond with compassion and empathy.
We have already seen some people in our world respond to those sick or exposed with a lack of compassion because of their own fears and self preservation. Christians should be different.
Rodney Stark, a sociologist, wrote about the rise of the early church during the first three centuries, and related the growth of the early church to the way it demonstrated compassion.
The church cared for the sick, the vulnerable, the orphan and widow in ways that inspired its neighbors. May we do the same.
Look for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor or oppressed.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
- Pray for God’s peace and presence to overwhelm our anxiety
Scripture reveals that anxiety and worry does not add a single day to our lives. Worry is thinking over and over about something outside of our control. Pray for Gods’ peace to overwhelm any anxiety.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
- Acknowledge and lament the fact that we live in a fallen world because of sin.
The coronavirus is a reminder that things are not as they should be. There is a heaven and this is not it. Disease, sickness and death is part of a curse that one day will be restored. This is why we don’t live for this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. Grieve with the sick and hurting while acknowledging this world is broken.
- Proclaim the victory that Jesus has given us over sin and death.
We have the greatest news in all the world that Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) lived a sinless life, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave to declare victory over sin and death.
Jesus is our substitute. Jesus is our ransom. Jesus is our savior.
“In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us” Ephesians 1:7-8a
Jesus made us alive even when we were dead in our sins!
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1,4-6
We do not have to fear sickness and death because we know we have eternal life through Christ Jesus. This assurance, this confidence, this fact is what led the apostle Paul to say, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil 1:21) Paul knew the condition of his soul was even more important than the condition of his body. Even if he died, he would live forever in the presence of God and one day receive a new body. He had much to gain.
Times like these remind us of the fragility of life, inevitability of death and the urgency of eternity. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus. Those who trust in Jesus have victory over sin and death.
This is the time to respond to God’s offer of salvation. Believe Jesus is Lord (God) and Christ (messiah). Confess your sins and need for a savior. Repent of your sins and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:36-41).
- Remain confident that God is working for the good.
Life can seem so random, but the good news is, regardless of what is happening, God is working for good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Be careful not to misread Romans 8:28
- Romans 8:28 is not saying that all things will be good and pleasant if you love God.
- Romans 8:28 does not say God works all things together for good immediately.
- Romans 8:28 does not say God works out all things together for everybody!
Who is this verse for? It is for the Christian. It’s the only person this verse makes sense for.
Romans 8:28 says that God has a promise for his people that he will work in them, through them, for them to bring about something good in their life in all things.
The verb tense of “God works for the good” emphasizes that this is a continuing activity of God. He works and he continues to work. God is working even if you don’t see it. God is working even if you don’t feel it. He never stops. He never stops working for your good.
- Set your hope on God.
When you are going through uncertainty, times of trouble or even death itself, you will begin to shift your reliance from yourself to God. Instead of relying on yourself, your health, your occupation or situation you will shift your reliance to the one who is all powerful. This is a good thing.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
Set your hope on the God who can deliver you. God has promised you healing. Whether He heals you immediately, gradually or ultimately, He is the great healer. So set your hope on God!