It’s okay to give thanks for how God uses a crisis and still pray fiercely for it to end.
Churches are called to show Christ’s love, faithfully and wisely — in crisis and out of it. We’ve gathered these resources to help you discern what to think, how to respond, and what to do.
We know God is using COVID-19 for His purposes, because that’s what He does with everything. We’ve collected a cache of thoughtful, biblical responses to help you view the pandemic from a biblical perspective.
- View our curated reading list for news, analysis, and historical insights: COVID-19 Dashboard for Churches – Online Giving, Website Alerts and Video Streaming Resources
- Message from MTW: Could COVID-19 Bring Revival to the Church?
Worship isn’t merely an option, it’s a command — for everyone. Pastor Steve Overman, of Grace URC in Portland, OR, wrote, “We noted that the ‘call to worship’ is not a ‘we hope you can come’ but a divine summons to meet with God.” Out of love for the vulnerable, they chose to cancel in-person worship services and livestream them instead.
A church in Texas gave thanks for the number of first-time virtual visitors who “attended” their live streamed worship service. Pastor Moody wrote, “I am going to encourage the church to look at this as a way to be missionaries in their neighborhood during a time of suffering and uncertainty. …The actual number of people watching [our first morning livestream service] far surpasses the typical 85 people we have in our normal morning services.”
The church in Singapore experienced COVID-19 60 to 90 days ahead of the US, and gathered a wealth of resources on how to respond, from whether or not to meet for worship to technology required to activities for small groups. Read them here.
Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of quarantine is not meeting regularly with the saints for corporate worship. It’s okay to be thankful for technology and still look forward to when you won’t need to depend on it so heavily.
That said, the technology accessible to even the smallest churches makes available simple, practical solutions unimaginable a few decades ago. Many are free.
Not all churches need to livestream their services. Pastor Moody notes, “I don’t think every church has to be streaming their services. They can team up with other churches and join together in an online service.”
Oakland Hills Community Church (OPC), in the metro Detroit area, opted to pre-record their worship services (rather than live-stream). Pastoral intern Ken Kruchkow made videos of Pastor Ralph Rebandt’s sermon and uploaded the videos to the church’s YouTube channel. Next they put the complete worship liturgy on one page, with embedded videos for the call to worship, congregational prayer, scripture reading, songs, sermon, and benediction. You can review Oakland Hills recent worship examples for March 22nd, and March 29th.
- To livestream your service, several free platforms are available, with a minimum of technological devices. Video Live Streaming Options
- Here’s how one church started livestreaming with a 24-hour notice, what they learned to change or improve, and the technology they chose to accomplish it: Church Video Streaming – First Week Review
God calls his children to give, generously. Online giving might feel weird. Do we need to start that? Isn’t it like begging? Well — no. It’s a means of enabling your congregants to give… and that is a way of loving them.
Your church website serves as your virtual front door. This is more true than ever with multiple states under quarantine. It behooves you to keep the information current, even when the news and decisions change daily.
- Do you need to edit your website yourself, and not sure how? Watch our webinar: How To Edit Your WordPress Site.
- If you have limited experience with WordPress, but gotten stuck on something, check out this prescreened list of resources. It’s basics for beginners, from bite-size (five minute videos) to buffet (courses with quizzes). And they’re free! How to Create and Edit Content in WordPress