Lead with Strength: 4 Things Church Leaders Can Do During COVID-019
On Wednesday March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. Many things are becoming uncertain. In Missouri, we’re rationing toilet paper, and we have an uncertain hockey season. However, a few things are clear, I now have a use for all those Magnolia magazines, and St. Louis can hold on to the Stanly Cup that much longer!
There’s one thing that goes hand-in-hand with uncertainty, and that is clarity. In this uncertain season, as church leaders, we need to provide clarity now more than ever.
Become a Hope Dealer
What your people need right now is a dose of hope. We hear much about the pestilence that stalks in the darkness (Psalm 91:6). What is clear is that scripture says “Do not fear.” Sure, let’s not hide the truth, instead wrap a bow of hope on it. Statements like, “You’re not alone.” “This didn’t catch God by surprise.” “We are here if you need us…” Be clear, all hope is not lost.
Up Your Digital Game
This is as good as time as any to step into Facebook live, YouTube, and online giving. I’m watching churches today cancel services at their physical locations an offer online service only. Local governments are beginning to limit the number of attendees at a gathering. If you don’t have a smart phone, chances are someone in your church does and would be willing to
record videos of messages or quick teachings to get your message of hope out there, even if they can’t come in.
Online giving is a must as well. Put your giving link in a Facebook post, mention it in your videos, emails and live stream. If you haven’t set up online giving yet, go here to get that started now. It’s free! (and this giving system is immune to the COVID-19 virus)
Find a Need and Meet It
Take a look around your community, where can your church step in and help? If kids are going to be out of school, will some miss a meal because of it? If your church is going to be empty will the excess toilet paper go unused? Could you help single parents get on a roll? Have them “roll” up to your church (not get out of the car) and get a bag of pizza rolls, and a roll of toilet paper on behalf of your church. Or come up with a safe, clever idea you can help those in need. It’s what we do.
Lean into Wisdom
Being safe is not the same as being afraid. Washing the nursery toys and the tops of the pews after every service is not fear, it’s smart. Same for extra hand sanitizer in the lobby and not passing the offering plate. (Have them bring it up front, or better yet, give online.) If your health department recommends your area shut down services and not have large gatherings,
compliance is not giving up to the attack of the enemy, it’s wisdom. We can be smart and safe without fear. This is the best time to show that the church is relevant and resilient.
Andy Stanley said, “Fear the lack of clarity more than the lack of accuracy.” It’s okay to admit, “I’m not sure what the best thing to do is, but here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to keep trusting God, keep worshiping, immersing in scripture and serving our community.”
Keep your stick on the ice, we’re praying for you.