Coronavirus action plan- Updated
Hello Pastors and Ministry Leaders,
With the widespread cancellation of events and travel restrictions due to the coronavirus, this is a time pastors and church leaders are considering what to do since churches are not able to gather for worship. We at the OCSBA have created a list of ideas which could be helpful for you as you seek to navigate the Covid-19 crisis with your church.
1. Continue to share God’s word every week. By now you have probably discovered how to conduct worship services online. If not, there are some simple tools which churches are using. Check out the links below:
Facebook Live: Stream free how to use Facebook Live.
Youtube: Youtube provides a free live stream option or you can upload video, you just need a Youtube account (if you have a Google account you also have a Youtube account as Google owns Youtube). Go to Youtube Live Stream or Upload.
Open Network: this is also a free and user friendly option for live streaming, Open Network.
2. Build a team to make sure ALL members can connect. Some elderly members feel intimidated by technology and computers. Build a team of a few people who can help those struggling with computers to make sure they can connect to your online presence.
3. Build a ministry Response Team. With many of your members at home they are most likely bored to tears (you can only watch so much TV). Enlist people who are willing to scour the internet to find needed supplies which they can pass on to others. Not only can this team forward information but they can also run needed errands for those who are sick or who are elderly and cannot get out. This will keep the congregation focused on serving one another and neighbors who may be in need.
4. Encourage Members to Minister to “Essential Employees” in the name of the church. This is our time to shine as a church. Rather than shrinking back the church should be moving forward and should be seen spreading the Love of Jesus during this crisis. Here are just a few ideas:
5. Make Face Masks at Home: Here is an article from Forbes complete with instructions. These can be taken to medical facilities to help with shortages.
GoFundMe Page to Support Restaurants and Essential Workers: Attached is the story of a person putting up a GoFundMe page to provide meals for medical workers and first responders. This idea stimulates the economy by helping local restaurants and ministers to those serving us, read more.
Make your own Hand Sanitizer: This link provides instructions and warnings. Empty pump bottles can still be ordered on Amazon or other online locations.
Create Homemade Disinfectant wipes: Here is a recipe for making disinfectant wipes for cleaning at home,
Send out “Thank You” cards to Essential Workers and First Responders. So many of these essential workers are overwhelmed during this Covid-19 crisis. Sending cards from church members telling these folks they are appreciated and are being prayed for will encourage them as they serve us.
6. Communicate regularly with the congregation. Communication is essential to keeping the congregation together. There are many ways to do this so I wanted to offer some no/low cost options for you to consider. These would be helpful for conducting Bible studies, youth connections, children’s connections, leadership meetings, etc… Also, you can send out video or written updates on what is happening with the virus, devotions, and just generally be the voice of calm, assurance and reason. You can do this through emails or Facebook, written or video, but keep reaching out. Here are the links to free or low cost video options:
7. Remind people of ways they can continue to support their church family. This can be done as prayer requests are shared, ministry needs are shared, and a reminder to continue to send it tithes and offerings so the work of ministry is not interrupted.
8. Communicate that this is NOT the new normal. Though there is much unknown about the coronavirus, most medical experts say it is a virus which will eventually run its course. There is encouraging news as China has only reported 39 new cases in the past 4 days (and those are said to be from sources outside of China) which seems to show as of March 23, 2020, the spread is close to an end there.
9. Encourage those at risk to stay home now. Do everything possible to serve the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. This is one of the best ways to show love to those for whom this could be life threatening.
These suggestions are intended to offer ways churches can still minister God’s Word and His Love to those who need it most during this time of uncertainty. I pray this is helpful for you all! The OCSBA is here to help, please let me know what we can do for you during this time.
God’s Blessings, Mike