Fellowship helps in easing pressure and opportunity for impartation of spirit and ideas with other church members, a church leader has said.
A number of people attended church services yesterday following a review of national lockdown measures by President Mnangagwa last week.
Most church leaders say the pandemic has negatively affected fellowships. Apostle Stephen Mangwanya of New United Apostolic Faith Church said this yesterday soon after conducting a church service where 50 members attended in line with Covid-19 restrictions.
“Church gatherings help unite the poor and rich through the spirit of God,” said Apostle Mangwanya. “This fellowship opens doors for sharing and exchanging ideas because not everything needs prayers; some need ideas to overcome challenges.
“Eating together unites people and helps them do away with the poor and underprivileged, as well as those living with disabilities.
“God, through church, reveals the manifestation of his wisdom and in this, the strong strengthen the weak ones by his power and grace.
“Covid-19 is an enemy of such fellowships and it is our prayer for the church to learn from its effects.
“Tave kunyanya kunzwa nenzeve tichim-bomira kutaura nekuda kwekushandisa facemasks. “Vazhinji vanoparadza hupenyu hwavo nekuda kwemashoko anobuda mumiromo yavo asi Covid-19 yambotinyararidza uye nekutiwanisa nguva nemhuri dzedu.
“A decrease in Covid-19 death cases shows people are praying and the Government sees it better to review lockdown measures,” said Apostle Mangwanya.
Bishop Albert Chikuni of Family Life Min-istries International said lockdown had taken place and affected church life. “Church members are devoted to apostle teaching and fellowship,” said Bishop Chikuni.
“Scientifically, it takes 21 days to create a strong habit and 21 days of doing the same thing creates a habit. “These lockdowns have significantly created a habit, which may be difficult to break.
“To some, some, though the churches have opened, the habits now that have been created are non-fellowship habits. “Pastors will do a great job of resurrecting the original church lifestyle.
“Some are used to online services, which can never replace the actual fellowship. “Apostle Paul used to write letters preach-ing to saints, but nevertheless, he stated the need to personally meet saints and longed to see them physically to make them strong.
“Technology can never replace the importance of one-on-one or direct service with the preacher. “We want to give thanks to God for healing us and our Government for reviewing the lock-down measures that have seen the resumption of church services.
“Our major task now as church leaders is to revive the spirit of togetherness,” said Bishop Chikuni. Reverend Gwinyai Ndembera of Methodist Revival Church said there is a need for the church to continue with its visibility, give hope, encourage and educate people through the preaching of the word of life.
“Covid-19 is real so the WHO guidelines must not be taken lightly, but must be put to good use so as to save lives. Masking up, washing hands with running water, sanitising and maintaining social and physical distance is key,” said Rev Ndembera.
“We are taught through words the need to wait upon the Lord. “The church in the homes helped many to keep them alive,” said Rev Ndembera.
Apostle Benjamin Joseph Murata of New Life Pentecostal church said a number of youth have been backsliding due to the negative effects of Covid-19.
“We have been busy as pastors conducting counselling sessions for marital issues that arose during the lockdown,” said Apostle Murata.
“Some youths ended up abusing drugs, while some ended up in unplanned marriages because of failing to meet with other mem-bers for ideas and continuous filling up of the Holy Spirit.
“The government helped a lot in curbing the continued spread of Covid-19 by national lockdown and as a church we never tire to give hope and supplications through online teachings,” said Apostle Murata.