The church’s finest hour has always been her calming, comforting and caring presence when the world around her is in crisis. This is particularly true during times of plagues and pandemics. When the world runs away in self-protection the church runs in with selfless care. For the church this is a time when we should increase ministry investments rather than decrease ministry activities while waiting out the storm.
Here are 6 ways to increase Christ-like service during an unprecedented pandemic:
1st: INCREASE CREATIVE IMAGINING
This is the time to quickly break away from typical ways of thinking about ministry and begin imagining new ways of being church. Congregational leaders should immediately discuss the wide array of challenges present in the congregation and community and imagine ways of addressing those challenges.
2ND: INCREASE CONNECTION
As people become disconnected through social distancing, self-quarantine and restricted access to the elderly it’s essential the church increase connection with members and neighbors. Live stream. Phone the isolated. Send daily devotionals. Utilize prayer chains. Invest in social media. Just keep connecting.
3th: INCREASE GOOD NEIGHBORING
Congregants should be encouraged to be good neighbors. They should check-in with neighbors to make sure all’s well. If neighbors are sick, congregants can bring groceries or a meal. They can offer to care for children when neighbors work. They can offer rides for those without access to public transportation.
4th: INCREASE PARTNERING WITH COMMUNITY AGENCIES
Community agencies are ramping up to meet needs created by the corona virus. For example, school systems are navigating how to bring meals to students. They need volunteers and distribution sights. It’s important for churches to check in with local service organizations to find ways to help.
5th: INCREASE BENEVOLENCE TO MEET REAL NEEDS
Soon real needs will show up in the congregation and community. Many hourly workers will have insufficient income for rent, utilities, groceries and medications. This is the time for the church to be exceptionally generous in meeting daily needs. As in Acts 2:45, sacrificial giving should be our practice.
6th: INCREASE A SENSE OF FAITH-FILLED CALM
Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you… Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” In a time of great anxiety, the church should nurture a sense of calm. This calm is a testimony of trust in God. This includes refusing to hoard and freely sharing what we have to help those without.
If you have ideas on how the church can serve members and neighbors in this unprecedented time, please share them on this post so others can benefit from your ideas.