We have never seen such a sweeping, monumental, and all-encompassing response to a pandemic virus. It is dominating the news cycle; closing businesses, schools; impeding travel; and emptying our stores. It is the conversation everywhere I go, and people are distraught. The unknown impacts and potential impact have many unsettled. This has become a BIG deal.
What an opportunity for the Church to be a people of hope, compassion, and step into the mission of Christ! God is not caught off guard. We have the opportunity to minister to families in really unique ways as they will have their lives disrupted. God is going to give you creative ways to minister to those who cannot and should not be out and about through this. This is time for the Church to shine!
How do we do this wisely and safely?
Should you have church on Sunday? At this point I would. People need to know that Jesus loves them. I would however be telling those at risk that though the church is open, they need to proceed with Godly wisdom and caution.
How do we minister to our community wisely and safely? I would be praying and meeting with my elders to come up with a plan for our people and share it with our community leaders asking them if there is a way to help them serve our community. We could take supplies and meals to seniors, regular phone calls and check ins by members of the church with each other, maybe drive by cookie runs, food runs to first responders. Maybe we could connect with community leaders to help with meals for kids, a list of seniors that are not on a church list, or service to our first responders who will be working regardless. Who knows what God is going to call his Church to do to serve the community through this? I believe our community leaders will appreciate the help.
Here are some listed links that have been helpful to me and I hope can be helpful to you.
The Peace Plan, Billy Graham Center, Humanitarian Disaster Institute
A Concise Coronavirus Guide for Churches, Christianity Today
Risk Alert, Church Mutual
The ARC is praying for you. Shine!
ARC Regional Director