Simple reminders for church leaders
- Move toward the issue(s) we face, not away from it. It’s healthier and more effective for all if leadership remains calm and confident as we address matters head on. Our congregation will thank us. We need to continue to be honest, humble, vulnerable as we move forward. Confess that together we will be building this plane as we fly it. We’ll need to be fluid and agile.
- Communicate clearly and often through various channels with our church family — online media, social platforms, personal email, text messaging, phone calls. More is better!
- Reaffirm our mission. Lean into our values as the Body of Christ. “Remember our WHY.” Be the presence of Christ to one another and to our neighbors.
A few best practices we are seeing among churches
- Sunday Worship services through April 19th are being recorded and placed online in addition to burning DVD’s for distribution to those not connected online. Laypersons are engaged, where possible, in the leadership and production of the experience. Engage our people to commit to joining together online during service and participate as a “virtual” worshiping community. It can be surprisingly rewarding.
- Sunday School/Bible Studies groups will utilize social media to convene and connect. This is already happening in our youth group, GF412. Be intentional about such opportunities.
- Be sure to post ongoing and timely “updates” on our website. There is opportunity for access to resources, including links to Sunday worship, a prayer list, and online giving.
- Encourage small groups to care for one another via phone calls and texts. When we are not together it is good just to hear a friend’s voice or connect. Make a call to a fellow church member to check in on each other.
- Ministry staff should determine the best manner to do pastoral care during this time. Clearly communicate this plan to the congregation regarding pastoral care visits/contacts in homes during this time, especially hospital and healthcare facility policies.
- Our church office, for the time being will remain open, with only the pastor being physically present.
- Pray for one another, our community, and our world. Remember those families directly affected by COVID-19 and the health professionals providing care, our government leaders, and the sick and most vulnerable.
God is our refuge and strength
The uncertainty of “transition periods” in the church’s life can be regarded as a kind of “wilderness” journey. It’s appropriate that it coincides with the Lenten season. This is a time for spiritual discernment, a time of prayer and fasting. Remember it is God who is “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46).
- Face your fears with a bias of faith and hope.
- Engage your assumptions with facts and the good reason God has given you.
- Act on what we are learning from the medical and scientific professionals. Wash your hands; practice social distancing. Be a leader where God has placed you.
- Release your fears to God. Pray, take this seriously, but don’t panic.