These are certainly unprecedented and unusual times. In this rare moment in history, many are unable to physically attend their church worship services due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has forced individuals, families and churches to think and live differently in many ways. As I reflect on what this means for the church, I thought of 5 pieces of advice I would give anyone wrestling with this new, but temporary paradigm.
- Connect with your church in any way that you can.
Most churches have found a way to help their people connect to the church whether through recorded sermons, live worship online, devotional videos and resources. Be sure to connect in any way possible to your church. If that is not enough, use the resources of other churches available online. Contact us for resources if needed.
- Continue to give to and pray for your church.
The bills for churches, much like our household bills continue in spite of not being able to meet in person. Please continue to give as you have if able. Some may not be able to give as usual due to income loss, so if you are blessed, consider extra giving in these challenging times. Regardless of your financial situation, pray for your church!
- Care for the people in your church and let them care for you.
We need each other, perhaps now more than ever. One of the primary purposes of the church is Christian community, doing life and faith together. We cannot follow Jesus, becoming more and more like Jesus each day without each other. We need each other. Check in on those in your church. Check in on your family, friends and neighbors to see what they need. Have the courage to tell those in your church and in your life what you need.
- Care for the pastors and staff of your church and let them care for you.
It turns out that pastors and church staff are people too! These are difficult times for them as well. Pray for them, encourage them, care for them. Let your pastors and staff care for you. Share your prayer requests, fears, worries, joys and needs. Contrary to popular belief, pastors are not mind readers.
- Trust God!
Above all else, trust God. Our primarily role, our one great act as Christians is to trust God. When we face fear and uncertainty, when we lose a sense control, fear naturally grows. The opposite of fear is trust. When the Bible uses the word faith, it almost always means trust. There is no pandemic, no economic or emotional challenge that God cannot overcome. God loves you and will protect you. Trust God in each and every moment of your life.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director