COVID-19 has changed the way people live, travel, worship, and spend money across the globe. Like many of us, believers from the Chinese underground house church have experienced a change in income and job activity and have had to make adjustments. One solution that some are currently using could transform the way Christians buy groceries and save thousands of dollars per family in the coming year.
Consumers in lockdown have been forced to stay home and, as a result, have shifted to online shopping. Likewise, the sudden increase of online shopping has led to delays in deliveries and product shortages.
This has led several believers in China to form ‘grocery groups.’ ‘Grocery groups’ are communities of believers who live in the same area, often in the same building complex, and collaborate to buy their groceries in bulk and the result is saving them thousands of dollars!
Buying in bulk can save a community and suppliers a lot of money by eliminating extra delivery charges, slashing the amount of packaging needed, and reducing energy for storage. Instead of buying a dozen eggs, believers in a ‘grocery group’ can shop around to find a supplier to deliver 100 dozen eggs or more for a discounted price. Instead of shopping for a pound of ground beef, a ‘grocery group’ can identify a supplier for 1,000 pounds of ground beef. All of the basic grocery needs for a community can be purchased in bulk and distributed within the small community to benefit everyone.
Buying in bulk is nothing new, but grocery groups is a new way to maximize social media and messaging apps for believers to save money on groceries for their community.
This has proven to be a life saver for many elderly members of the church who have not felt safe to leave their homes and are not familiar with online shopping. They have truly been the most vulnerable members of the Christian community and are greatly benefiting from grocery groups.
Christian groups that live in the same community have started bulk buying in chat groups. They do not discuss Christian activities on these chat groups as that would cause a security problem, but they primarily discuss group buying. When bulk discounts are found, a message is immediately sent out to the ‘grocery group’ to confirm the purchase at which time the members can pay into the group fund to make the purchase.
Members of the community who are not involved in the church can also join the group. This creates amazing opportunities for members of the church to share the Gospel with members of their community.
Grocery groups and bulk buying in China is catching on fast and transforming the way people buy food. Several online giants in China are rushing to provide platforms for this new way of thinking.
This amazing new way could quickly catch on in Christian communities around the world.