Church Planting in the Shadow of COVID-19

Kasey and Katie Horvath, Liberti Church Lebanon, PA

In February of 2019 Liberti Church began to gather in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. We planted with a vision to live, speak, and serve as the very presence of Jesus for our city, through the faithful practice of Worship, Community, and Mercy.

In God’s providence, the church began to grow as we purposely taught our followers to love God, love their neighbors, and make more disciples. In twelve months, we saw 3 adults praying in a living room become 40 adults regularly meeting for biweekly public worship. In February of 2020 we looked back and said, “The LORD has done great things for us and we are glad” (Psalm 126:3).

Then, one month later, COVID-19 hit our region. For a young church plant with limited resources, the implications for not meeting weighed heavy— “How will this affect our momentum and budget as we move toward a public launch?”

While trying to wisely respond to COVID-19, the Holy Spirit brought to mind the comforting reality that Jesus is not only the true bread (John 6:32) and the true vine (John 15:1), but he is also the true church planter (Matthew 16:18).

The complexities and difficulties of a pandemic are not limited to church plants; they are broadly experienced by all congregations. However, Christ’s scope of building is not narrowly focused on new churches, but rather includes every local expression of his Church. Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us not lean on our own understanding, but confidently trust that Christ will build his Church, even in the shadow of COVID-19.

Press on, God is faithful!

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