Wow, how much can change in 24 hours. Things are getting crazy out there and information is coming at you a million miles an hour. I am hoping to have some useful and updated information that will help you and the churches you serve. You can tell that many people are acting out of fear and confusion and others are trying to figure out what all the fuss is about and and acting carelessly. But believers in Jesus Christ are called to love God and love our neighbors, and especially in these times, people are looking for us to show and share the gospel without fear and panic.
Here's some thoughts:
Of course this is up to each individual church. Many churches are suspending services temporarily and having online/facebook/podcasted services. The CDC went from saying 250 people was the right amount for a gathering then it was 50 in a crowd and now the recommendation is no more than 10 but Dr. Joseph Fair a virologist stated that it really should be just your "immediate circle".
Some experts are saying to act as if everyone has been exposed. Of course we trust the Lord and walk by faith. If it only were affecting me personally, I have liberty to be bold and take risks that I believe the Lord would have me to take that perhaps others would not. But as a believer, I am to love my neighbor and so that means that I don't put them in danger. We are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. That means we are to be shrewd. Knowing when to speak and when to remain silent, when to act boldly and when to refrain from action. If not we run the risk of listening to the wicked one when he tempted Jesus and told him "Throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” This is a time when we become shrewd in how we interact together, worship together and give testimony to the world how much we love them.
“Social distancing” is a public-health strategy used to describe broad measures like school, festival, and public transportation closures in an effort to help slow, track, and eventually curb the spread of airborne diseases like the flu and tuberculosis. The diagram above illustrates that the goal is to “flatten the curve” and allow the healthcare system to meet the heavy demands now placed on it.
We must act quickly. Social distancing is one small way we can assist the hospitals and healthcare systems from being overwhelmed. There are only so many ICU beds and most of those are already being used. If there is a flood of more critically ill people, then lives will be lost.
This is not the time to quote Hebrews 10:24-25, because this is not about neglecting to meet together.
This is the time for being a good neighbor. Churches on average have an older population–a population more susceptible to getting sick. They sit next to kids that wipe their nose and don't cover up when they cough. How do we decide to best care for our people while using the prudent intelligence God gave us, and stay true to the call God has laid before us without a spirit of fear?
Many of you have made proper adjustments to their previous week’s Sunday morning habits ranging from elbow-bumping instead of handshakes, during greeting times to changing the way you do the Lord's supper. But some things you may not have thought about are: there are the doors being used by every person instead of the same person opening them, offering plates being passed down the aisles, and check-in stations for children being used by each family, and then there is the inevitable close proximity of large groups of people.
Systems are being taxed. Our education systems, childcare, entertainment, transportation, food distribution, income, unemployment, stock market. Every aspect of our society is being touched by this crisis.
This is the time for the church to be the church and we can only do that together. This is one of the great times to be apart of an association of churches and a FAMILY of churches.
Matthew 25: 34-40: 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” 40 And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.”
Understand that the world is watching how we conduct ourselves and we want to communicate that we care for others and we care for those outside the church as well.
The best resource I have seen for churches to think through helping their community, and also how to do church differently comes from a partnership between Saddleback Church, the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton (Ed Stetzer) and the Humanitarian Disaster Institute: https://coronavirusandthechurch.com/
INDY NEEDS JESUS, WE NEED TO ANSWER THE CALL, SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT THE LOVE OF CHRIST IN AS MANY WAYS AS POSSIBLE.
Preparing Your Church & Your People To Be Safe and Effective (including video streaming help): https://coronavirusandthechurch.com/
How to use Facebook Live: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide
Guidestone Resource https://www.guidestone.org/Promotions/Coronavirus
COVID-19 Indiana Hotline 877-826-0011
If I can help please call me:
Chris Kellermeyer 765-635-6393, email@example.com
As a network of Southern Baptist churches in Indianapolis, we exist to engage the mission force with the mission field both here in Indy and beyond. We stand ready to come alongside you and your church leadership to help build the Kingdom in Indy through Equipping Pastors, Encouraging Families, and Mobilizing Churches.