Churches and Coronavirus, COVID-19: Keep Things Moving
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Church and Coronavirus: What Should We Be Doing?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a challenge for churches, large and small. I’m not aware of any church that has completely escaped the burden of this invisible menace. Many large churches were already well-equipped for online broadcast or streaming of services, yet they are having to dig deep to find new ways to engage their members and online audience. Small churches who were not so well-equipped to stream online have had to scrape together equipment to ensure weekly messages and sermons can find their way to congregants.
As a result of the pandemic, we are experiencing palpable levels of fear in society. My church just completed a great series called Anxious For Nothing, all about the biblical truths regarding fear and anxiety. One truth we know to be certain: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind – 2 Timothy 1:7
Knowing that, God’s people will not fold up the church and go home when challenges like this come along because God does not give us a spirit of fear. But, we do have this quirky, innate fear mechanism that is useful in avoiding things that may hurt us. The problem is we tend to react in fear to things that never come to pass. To avoid falling into the imagination of a worst-case that will likely never come to pass, the best thing we can do is keep moving, keep putting one foot in front of the other, find new opportunities in light of this challenge before us, and keep our eyes on God. Keep things moving!
Helpful Church and Coronavirus Resources
Things We Should Be Doing
We know this, right? Now is not a time to be lax in our prayer life. Prayer is important because it makes us more like Jesus and because it reveals to us the heart and mind of God. We need that, always, but more than ever in times like these.
The best part about prayer is that it’s a conversation that goes both directions. Yes, we will talk to God, but when we spend time in prayer with him and are open to receive, we will also hear from Him. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Many churches are holding virtual vigils and hosting online group prayer meetings. If you aren’t sure exactly how to go about this, here are a few resources to help:
- How to use Zoom for an online prayer meeting.
- How to host a small group online.
- Using Google Hangouts as a ministry tool.
It’s a given that prayer is foundational to Christian life. In times of turmoil, many of us find ourselves in prayer even more often. Unfortunately, there are those who become so mired in the uncertainty and confusion of a circumstance like COVID-19 that prayer seems to take a backseat. This alone should motivate the church toward whatever it takes to keep lines of communication open, even if that means through virtual connection.
Keep things moving!
It is a critical time for church communication. In fact, over-communication should be the order of the day. Mailers, online flyers, websites, blog posts, social media outreach, email, online events, and other effective communication tools should be in full operation while churches are not able to hold services on location.
Using your church website and social media, you should be communicating to your church family everything that is going on. This includes changes to schedules, prayer requests, reminders, virtual service bulletins, and news updates.
Church web design has never been more important. This means making sure that your church website can facilitate needs of the church family. But, it should also be used as vehicle to reach all of those unchurched people who are suffering because they do not have a Solid Rock to stand on — those with felt-needs who are looking for answers.
Make sure that you are following, at least, these basics for church communication:
Keep things moving!
Not everyone is as strong as you. There are times we all need to be reminded of the goodness of God and encouraged in His everlasting, unconditional love for us all. Hopefully, your pastor is able to livestream messages to your church family and encourage them to allow God to work through them during this challenging time. Many miracles are manifested through hardship, and we should all look forward to the testimony that will inevitably come from our experience with coronavirus COVID-19.
We will also encounter people in our church family who are dismayed or dismissive of the circumstance, as a method of coping. The social upheaval and personal isolation has fostered a range of mental health challenges for people in the community and in our own church family. Patience and understanding are much needed virtues during times such as these.
While churches may not be able to confront the medical complexities of a global pandemic, they are uniquely poised to comfort the personal challenges of a panicked people with the hope and promises of God’s Word. Let’s make sure that our prayer, our communication, and our encouragement embody Jesus and the Word of God.
Keep things moving!
This Son Will Rise
This is a challenging time for churches, for businesses, for first responders, and for the leaders of the world who are having to make decisions they’ve never made before. We are taught that God will not give us more than we can handle, more weight than we can bear. I’m sure it doesn’t feel like that to many who are burdened with this crisis.
That said, this will come to pass. But, our decisions may determine how we each come through it.
1 Peter 1:5 says “By God’s power [we] are being guarded through faith for a salvation.” That’s enough for me and it is enough for anyone who comes to know Jesus Christ.
Keep things moving!