Carruthers, Edward Bruce. “Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Ministry to Members of First Baptist Church, Montreal During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” D. Min., Tyndale University, 2023.
In its nearly two-hundred-year existence in the city, First Baptist Church has seen the best and worst of life in Montreal. Still, the current congregation shows no signs of giving up our corporate goal to be "A House of Prayer to All Nations." This portfolio reflects my evolution as pastor of this vital community and the church itself, especially during my time at Tyndale.
As challenging as the ministry is in general, it takes on another dimension of difficulty when the congregation to whom we minister is gone. The question that loomed large over my pastorate was how I could continue ministering to people in such an event. COVID-19 left us searching for alternate ways to minister to congregational needs despite restrictions on interpersonal contact. We partly addressed this ministry through online services, but many members could not avail themselves of this resource, being unable to access computers or the internet. Government-enforced church closures complicated the issue, as did some individuals fearing the risk of exposure by physically attending the church when open. The threefold foci of this research concentrated on how best to preach to an absent congregation, encourage them in prayer, and maintain a sense of communal fellowship despite enforced separation. The research project documents how we addressed these problems through regular telephone and mail contact to alleviate the isolation members experienced. This outreach included the distribution of printed sermons and prayer requests. We reassured members they were loved and cared for while reminding them of the congregational unity and community of those sharing their struggles. The project had some success, constrained mainly by its eight-week duration. However, we learned valuable lessons and continue using the process we developed, ensuring regular contact without overlooking any of our members.
Thesis (D. Min.)--Tyndale University, 2023
Table of Contents
Introduction – Chapter 1: Personal Preaching Identity – Chapter 2: Preaching Context – Chapter 3: Action Research Project – Conclusion.
Copyright, Edward Bruce Carruthers managed by Tyndale University. All rights reserved.
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