During the Covid pandemic churches in Canada were forbidden to hold large meetings, and at times during the imposed “lock downs” no more than 10 people could meet together for worship.
The solution for the church of God in Mount Forest was to organize itself into smaller groups, each with less than 10 people, but each formed from disciples who were ready and able to continue meeting as a church without deviating from any of the biblical principles that govern such gatherings. For instance, each of the smaller “companies” needed to have men in it who would provide a lead in the united worship of the church, and all other aspects covered in the section of this website titled “Who We Are” were likewise satisfactorily arranged. So it was possible to give full effect to government rules and guidelines for health and safety without ceasing to meet as a church.
It was helpful to us when faced with these difficult external circumstances to consider precedents in the practices of churches of God. We found guidance in an early volume of the teaching magazine Needed Truth (still available here today). So for the benefit of others who may be helped by pursuing the same line of enquiry we did, we are including here a PDF of an extract from the annual volume for 1896 (yes, 1896!). The article that covers churches of God meeting in multiple companies starts at page 64, but if you’d like to see the whole volume, just contact us. You’ll find it easier to read if you download the PDF first.
Of course, we were not the only church of God to adopt this practice, which was confirmed as continuing to have application in any church whose elders find the organizational approach effective and God-glorifying in their particular circumstances. The pandemic may have come as a surprise to us, but not to God! And He provides a means to address difficulties we face alongside all people at such times. It is not the Needed Truth article that is so important, but the Scriptures it references, the enduring Word of God.