As Christians, our faithfulness is rooted in not merely GOING to church, but in BEING the church.
Technology has made it relatively easy to broadcast our worship services over the internet during times like this when staying home is recommended or mandated. BUT the bigger challenge is the question:
What does it look like for us to be the church, to be the compassionate Body of Christ in motion in these times — caring for one another and for our neighbors (and especially for those on the margins of congregation and neighborhood)?
Here are a few Coronavirus resources for churches —
( *** ALSO, we’d love to hear in the comments below what your church is doing to BE the compassionate body of Christ in these difficult times?)
This is a piece that all church leaders should read!
“There are several reasons that now is an almost uniquely important moment for local leaders. We have become accustomed to culture being shaped “somewhere else” — by elected officials, especially national ones; by celebrities; by media. But we are dealing with a virus that is transmitted person to person, in small and large groups of actual people. This is not a virtual crisis — it is a local, embodied one. Local, embodied responses will quite literally mean life and death for people.
Governors, mayors, and leaders of major businesses and institutions all have a part to play, but to an amazing degree the choices made by churches, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations will have a huge effect. This past week an outbreak in Massachusetts has been largely traced to a single meeting of about 175 people sponsored by the firm Biogen. Countless Christian leaders are involved in decision-making about groups of that size. We have decisions to make, and horizons to shape, which leaders at other levels cannot.”
No doubt, if you pastor a large church or are on its pastoral staff, you were already presented with the reality that groups larger than 200 people have been banned for the foreseeable future in some areas. Then more recently the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has moved to discourage meetings of fifty or more. Now it appears to be ten.
So may I make a suggestion? Mobilize your church’s human resources, all that amazing and immense organizational talent, to organize people into neighborhood table gatherings in the neighborhood.
[ READ MORE ]
And if you want to go deeper,
David Fitch’s book FAITHFUL PRESENCE
One strategy of our efforts to be faithful in these times might be smaller gatherings of prayer, worship, and Eucharist in homes. Fitch offers a wealth of guidance on how and why faithful presence can be cultivated in smaller church gatherings.
Wednesday, March 18th 1:30PM ET / 10:30AM PT
Fresh Expressions US and Missio Alliance are bringing together a scientist, a health expert and a church leader to help you navigate this complex issue.
You will learn:
… A basic science perspective that illuminates why churches should take gospel-demonstrating, crisis-response leadership roles
…Suggestions from a medical expert on how best to advise congregations about precautions and protocols that save lives.
…Cues for how to lead churches into following the Way-of-Jesus: loving neighbors, serving congregations, inspiring volunteers, saving lives and consoling the dying throughout this crisis
*** Are there other Coronavirus resources for churches
that your church has found helpful?