It is no longer news that the world is experiencing some drastic and unplanned changes as resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has affected various sectors all around the world. The church has also been affected in that church gatherings such as meetings for worship, Bible study, and fellowship generally have either been stopped or limited.
Church gatherings see some of the largest numbers we have in communities on a weekly basis. Usually, members of the church have to sit next to each other, hold hands in prayers, shake hands, share hugs after services, and other forms of physical interactions whenever the congregation meets. As we already know, most of these activities can facilitate the spread of this virus in one way or the other, hence, the need to put a stop to them during this pandemic.
However, we must understand that churches do not close, only the building, as we ourselves are the body of Christ and we are everywhere. However, without these buildings, converging and rhythms of worship/fellowship have been disrupted. So how can churches respond during this period? What can churches do to still stay connected with their congregation?
Here are some ways your church can respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Engage in virtual prayer meetings
The first response of every church leader to COVID-19 should be seeking the face of God in prayer. To inquire, to ask for directions, and to seek clarity. The church is the body of Christ and the Lord Himself runs the church, He has only entrusted leaders to oversee the spiritual growth, care, and prayer for the congregation. With this in mind, we know that the first scriptural thing to do is to take the current situation to God in prayers.
Church leaders should also encourage members to pray at all times, calling on God to step in even in these times and wipe away this pandemic ravaging so many countries of the world. It is also time to speak to God concerning those who have been infected with this virus and ask that the Lord will heal them and restore order to the earth.
Take your church online
If your church doesn’t already have an online presence, now is the time to do so. A lot of churches have taken to the online space to reach out to and engage their congregation as well as millions of Christians across the world. Using social media platforms, church websites, and mobile apps such as ChurchPad App will allow you to live-stream your service, and it comes with many other amazing capabilities for managing your church.
Taking your church online removes any form of limitation you might have in reaching out to your members and potential members. You also have the opportunity to put out podcasts, recorded sermons, eBooks on the church website, live services, and live meetings using the ChurchPad App.
Gather and disseminate reliable information
Conflicting information can do more harm to people than the virus itself. It is, therefore, essential that church leaders protect their congregation from misinformation and wrong advice. Gather information from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization (W.H.O), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State Health Department websites.
In disseminating this information, the use of Unified Communications in ChurchPad will make it a lot more effective. Also, during live services and announcements, you can leverage these opportunities to send the right information.
Support vulnerable and less privileged church members
This is so important and is part of the duty of the church. The church should have a comprehensive database of people in the church and those who have needs, both in the church and the community. As a church leader, this gives you important insights and you can come up with a workable plan to get help to them.
It may be in terms of providing food or access to health care, counseling, or any other form of help they might require. Church leaders should also encourage members to do their part to show love to those who are in need around them. Small acts of kindness have a big impact, especially in these times.
Cooperate with the authorities in your city or state
The Bible admonishes believers to obey those in authority. This is why church leaders should be at the forefront of ensuring that every strategy that is being put in place by the government, both at the state and federal levels, is being followed to flatten the curve of the pandemic.
If we have any plans of completely stopping the coronavirus, then we have to work with the government and those in authority. Encourage members of your church to also do the same.