BIZG Helps Churches Go Online
The coronavirus shutdown began in Croatia in mid-March. As part of their very successful response to the virus, the Croatian government at that time banned gatherings of more than ten people; this included church services. (Those laws began gradually lifting over the past month.)
Faced with this decree, dozens of Bible-believing churches in Croatia decided to take the jump into online services. The technology needed to make this jump becomes more and more available each year, with Facebook Live, Zoom, YouTube, etc. “With the technology at our fingertips,” church leaders wondered, “why not go ahead and turn this challenge into an opportunity?”
Ivan Karadža, The Biblical Institute’s Director of Online Learning, was the man of the hour. Ivan has been recording classes, lectures, and events for the Institute for several years, and has spent many hours editing and uploading videos to different online platforms.
Ivan and his family are active in Kristova Crkva (the Church of Christ at Kušlanova), the congregation that shares facilities with the Institute. Ivan worked with pastor Mislav Ilić to stream their services on Facebook, beginning 29 March and every Sunday since. Ivan has been at the helm from the beginning, setting up the equipment, mixing camera and cell phone video, and processing recordings.
And the work has paid off; most weeks, Kristova Crkva has between 150 and 250 views. That first Sunday video has been viewed 750 times.
Ivan not only assisted Kristova Crkva, he also helped Novi Savez (New Covenant Church), one of the Institute’s partner congregations in Zagreb, make the leap online. Pastor Tomislav Zorić said, “I had questions about what kind of equipment I should buy, what camera would work the best, and so on. Ivan answered my questions and helped me start posting the videos on Facebook.”
Perry Stepp, the Institute’s director, said: “When the shutdown started, we spent a lot of time planning how we would respond with online classes and content, and how we would stay in touch with different groups of students and supporters.
And then this unexpected opportunity arose for one of our key people to help churches overcome the challenges they faced as they tried to minister to their people during the shutdown. It’s an honor for us to be used by God to build his Kingdom in this way.”