TULAROSA (BNM) - A Tularosa pastor recently found a unique way to meet the needs of his congregation in light of social distancing guidelines and regulations. On March 29th and April 5th, Pastor Dan Abercrombie and his wife, Brenda, visited members of his Cross Church congregation at their homes, in place of traditional Sunday morning services. At each house, Abercrombie stood outside and delivered the weekly sermon. All visits were arranged in advance to ensure individuals were comfortable participating.
Abercrombie said he was careful to abide by current social distancing requirements. “The requirement for porch visits is that it has to allow for six feet [of] distancing. We forego hugs and shaking hands for the sake of safety.”
According to Abercrombie, “each visit is tailor-made to the needs of that particular person or couple.” During the March 29th visits, Abercrombie centered his message around the idea of hope, preaching from Matthew 27.
That day, while he was visiting with and preaching to a man from his church, the man asked a question that shifted the direction of Abercrombie’s message. “As I was reading about Jesus’ dying on the cross and becoming sin for us, one man asked the burning question, ‘Why did God turn His back on Jesus, if Jesus was doing what He asked of Him?’ The sermon changed on the spot, as I took the time to answer his question,” Abercrombie said, adding, “In a structured service, that question would have probably gone unasked. Some people need prayer and words of encouragement, and some want the whole sermon.”
On March 29th, the Abercrombies visited 17 church members and attendees. On April 5th, they visited 12 people, including some families. Abercrombie said that he and his wife felt they could “safely visit our congregants without endangering anyone’s health,” saying he “wanted to convey a message of love and hope that required the energy of a live visit.” Abercrombie closed each visit by reciting 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
Cross Church is a church plant affiliated with the Baptist Convention of New Mexico and Mountain Valley Baptist Association. Launched in October 2018, the church’s full legal name is Cross Church, Love God, Love People.