Easter Sunday is the biggest event in Christianity, but this year's celebrations will look very different as churches across the globe close their doors to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church, believes it is important to equip pastors and leaders to reach their communities during these dangerous times.
"As a result of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, for [the] first time in more than 2,000 years of history, the church will not be able to gather together to celebrate Easter. Regardless of these unprecedented circumstances, the message of Easter remains the same: 'Jesus is the hope of the world,'" said Warren.
That's why Pastor Warren and his wife Kay hosted an online global prayer and worship event on Monday, April 6, to pray with Christian leaders and encourage them to share the gospel at a time when people need it the most. This Global Easter Pastor Prayer Gathering featured Christian leaders from every continent, including T.D. Jakes, Nicky & Pippa Gumbel, Tony and Mei Yeo, Carlito and Leila Paes, and Laurent and Chantal Mbanda.
"Though the coronavirus has created so much confusion and chaos, it has not changed the pastor's call to shepherd their congregations. And, it represents a new opportunity for pastors to lead in unity and an open door to share the gospel and God's love to the world and their communities that are hurting as never before," Warren told CBN News.
The event ministered to pastors of all Christian denominations as they prepare their communities for Easter. Christian artists including Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Brooke Ligertwood led church leaders in a time of worship and seeking God's face.
"Together, we'll pray for our churches, our communities, and the world as we unite as the body of Christ to proclaim the hope of the resurrection at Easter," Warren explained.
ORDER OF SERVICE:
- Introduction: Rick & Kay Warren, Saddleback Church
- Pray for all who are anxious and fearful in our congregations due to the pandemic: T.D. & Serita Jakes, The Potter’s House (North America)
- Break Every Chain: Tasha Cobbs
- Pray for all the health workers risking their lives to save others: Carlito & Leila Paes, Igreja de Cidade (South America)
- Pray for people and churches in financial hardship due to lost jobs: Tony & Mei Yeo, Covenant Evangelical Free Church (Asia)
- Song: Chris Tomlin
- Pray that our churches will be a Light in these dark days: Brian & Bobbie Houston, Hillsong (Australia)
- Pray for each other as we prepare our Easter messages to share the Hope of Christ: Nicky & Pippa Gumbel, Holy Trinity Brompton (Europe)
- 10,000 Reasons: Matt Redman
- Pray for spiritual revival to break out during these days: Archbishop Laurent & Chantal Mbanda, Anglican Church (Africa)
- Pray that we will humbly depend on Christ during this pandemic: Rick & Kay Warren, Saddleback Church, (USA)
- King of Kings: Brooke Ligertwood, Hillsong Worship
- Closing: Rick and Kay Warren, Saddleback Church
FOR CBN NEWS CONTINUING COVERAGE ON COVID-19, CLICK HERE.