What to Do Now:
-Don’t act out of fear: hoarding materials other people need and constantly scrolling social media and being consumed by worries aren’t good for our minds or our hearts; as Christians, we are NOT supposed to be focused on self-protecting!
“Acknowledging the reality is needed, but then asking the question, ‘How might God want us to use this for His glory and the good of the Church?’ is a better way to address the situation.” -Dan Reiland
We look out for the good of other people FIRST “Our primary posture should not be protection, but showing the love of Christ.” -Mitch Kim
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:18
We have hope that no matter what happens to our bodies, our souls are held by God and we have eternal security. Share this hope of Christ with neighbors and family who may be fearful right now!
“COVID-19 has exposed our illusion of control, and the loss of control sparks fear.” -Mitch Kim.
This is a good time to remember that we are not in control but we know and can trust the One who is!
“We do not overcome fear with information; fear is overcome with faith. A consumer society seeks to overcome fears by consuming information incessantly, even from unreliable sources. A church leader who endured the Ebola crisis exhorted us to stick to prayer, the Word and information from a couple of reliable sources.” - Mitch Kim
-Don’t be careless! We must obey the government (Romans 13; Titus 3:1-2), and we must also honor and respect health professionals and how they are asking us to not contribute to the spread of this virus to compromised groups. This is a tangible way that we can love our neighbors.
- Be prudent: We are social-distancing as a way to love our neighbors not out of fear. Remember that even if you are healthy, you could cause other people to become ill. Avoid physical contact with others as much as possible and remember that the steps that we take to stop the spread of COVID-19 can help protect the older people in our community as well as the immunocompromised.
- Remember that we are still a church family and can take care of each other even if we can’t all be in the same building on Sunday mornings!
- One great way to serve the community right now is by donating blood to the Red Cross. Their supplies are short right now, so this would be a huge help and could potentially save lives!
-For those who are affected by not being able to work due to closures and cancellations and are hourly employees or reliant on tips, reach out and see how you can help them by purchasing needed supplies for them or even financially helping them so they can continue to pay necessary bills.
-Let us know if you have a need or want an idea of another way to serve in the midst of this situation. We would love to see our congregation helping serve one another.
What to Do for Later:
As restrictions will likely continue to become stricter and more cases of COVID-19 will be confirmed, we know that we can start preparing now to meet the needs that will arise.
“Simple acts of love with great compassion have great power to show the love of Christ.” -Mitch Kim
-Contact relatives and neighbors who may be immunocompromised or elderly. Encourage them to stay self-quarantined at home and offer to help them out by picking up and delivering groceries or needed supplies for them. Also, don’t forget to call self-quarantined relatives and neighbors just to check in with them and talk to them while they are isolated and probably lonely!
- Think of those in our church body who may need to be served right now and reach out to them.
- For parents who still have to go to work while their kids are at home from school, offer to babysit.
-Check in on international students at local colleges and universities who can’t return home amidst school closures and travel bans.
-Reach out to nursing homes and their staff to see what they need.
-Be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have!
- Ask nurses, doctors, techs, or other healthcare employees how you can best serve them while they are serving the community!
- Buy a couple extra of certain items to be able to make care packages for neighbors. Do NOT hoard or buy in excessive quantities!
-Include materials like shelf-stable foods. Examples inclue pasta, canned foods, soups, etc; some encouraging resources like Bible verses or Scripture-related content; cleaning supplies or other staple items - even consider including something personal to the person that the care package is for to remind them of how much they are cared for.
“Fear is always reduced when you help others rather than think primarily about yourself.” -Dan Reiland
- If we reach a situation where everyone is required to stay home/is quarantined to prevent further spread outside of necessary trips to medical services or grocery stores, be prepared to pick things up from the store for other people and continue calling to check in on people around you and in your family.
- Use this time to grow/build family relationships at home with quality time together. If you would like resources to help guide family time and discussions, let us know!
- PRAY - pray for the end of this virus, pray for the sick and those at risk; pray for healthcare workers who are working overtime and may eventually have to make hard decisions in their line of work; pray for those out of work right now; pray for those who may be stocking shelves in grocery stores instead of staying at home safe; pray for the government and those trying to develop a vaccine and oversee the management of this outbreak; pray for those facing serious disappointment over cancelled events, like seniors who don’t get to finish out school with their friends or families who had to cancel vacations they had saved up for or athletes whose careers ended early; pray for those who are at home alone feeling lonely/isolated (and act by reaching out to them). God sees all of these people. Their hurts matter to Him and they should matter to us!
“When we reach the end of what we can do, we can either feel helpless or become dependent. Dependence on God is the better choice.” -Dan Reiland
“We don’t know the timeline for this difficult season of panic, fear, and worry. But the Church is always at its best under pressure when we focus on others. That requires faith and fortitude.” -Dan Reiland
If, down the road, you want to take some of these action steps but don’t know where to start, let us know and we can do our best to help get you headed in the right direction!
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The quotes in this article are from the following articles: