Church Leaders Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Everything around us seems to be going crazy. This coronavirus pandemic has the world in a heightened state of anxiety and fear. Grocery store shelves are empty, people are no longer shaking hands, people are getting laid off from work, churches are forced not to meet, and people in general are operating in panic mode. So, how should we as Christians and as church people respond during this time of crisis? The following points will help us to get thru this crisis.
Remember that God has allowed this to happen. Jesus said in John 12:33 “in this world you will have trouble.” (NIV) So with all the gnashing of teeth, hand wringing, finger pointing, gloom and doom scenarios, remember God has allowed this to happen. He sees the turmoil and also sees the result. Trust Him.
Worshiping in New Ways with Social Distancing
Understand that during this time, Church worship will change. Even if you are still meeting for public worship, things will change. Most folks won’t be shaking hands and hugging. Social distancing will become the norm for now. There will be much less social interaction.
In a lot of cases churches will not be meeting, so online services will be the way we worship. Use this time as an opportunity to make improvements to both your online production (services) and online promotion (the service itself).
The Power of Prayer
Focus on prayer. Luke 18 tells us the parable of the persistent widow. Verse 1 tells us that Jesus used the parable to teach His disciples they should always pray and never give up. Even though there are many church leaders out there who are discouraged, these times call for renewed prayer and greater faith that God controls the outcome. Remember to pray fervently for our National leaders. Pray that they will make wise decisions.
The Financial Impact
Your church income will probably go down. It’s time to look at how you are spending money and make budget adjustments. The churches who come thru this crisis best, will be churches who are receiving a large part of their contribution online. This is a great time to help people switch over to online giving. Also, prioritize that budget. Save money wherever you can.
Strength in Leadership
Be a strong leader. These are not times for work and indecisive leadership. Church members want stability of strong decision making. 1 Chronicles 12:32 tells us of the men of Iassachar who understood the time and knew what Israel needed to do. Our church leaders need that same understanding and decision-making ability today.
Witness for the Lord
Remember to love your neighbor. What a great time for Christian witness. People are literally frozen in fear. It is a great time to witness for the Lord. People have a great deal of needs. It is a great time to do good deeds, especially toward those who don’t know the Lord.
Importance of Self-Care
Rejuvenate your quiet time. As leaders, we need to make sure our spiritual tanks are full. The only way to keep from operating on spiritual empty is to have quiet time of prayer and communion with the Lord. Make sure you set aside time every day, away from people and distractions, and focus on God.
Get some exercise. Remember to keep the body moving. Find a way to get in physical shape or maintain physical conditioning and help reduce stress. Remember it is not the load that breaks you down, but how you carry it.
Expect negativity. Negative people are going to be negative; don’t let them get you down. Remember God already knows the outcome and you can rest in that.
Remember this time will pass. Hang in there, it will get better.