In times of crisis, people need community—especially their church community. But when a pandemic spreads or a hurricane hits, gathering together becomes more difficult (or impossible) for many churches. Here are some steps for taking what could push people apart—and using it to bring your church together.
Of course you’re praying for the crisis to resolve and for those affected. But you still want to keep praying for each other’s “everyday” requests. When you can’t meet together, it can be hard to communicate everyone’s needs.
Request prayer and see how to support others in prayer through a free, private group on faithlife.com for your church and/or small group.
Since groups on Faithlife are private and created specifically for churches, you can create your church’s own easy-to-navigate online community that informs and uplifts.
When those affected need financial support, raising money is an obvious way to show the love of Christ.
Set up online giving so your givers can donate on your website or text to give.
If you’ve already enabled online giving, meet specific needs through creating funds. For example, if a mall employee (let’s call her Deb) goes on unpaid leave since the mall is closed, she may need help paying rent. You can create a fund for church members to pay Deb’s rent for three months. Likewise, you can create a general benevolence fund to be distributed as people ask the church for help.
Think of practical ways to provide relief, then ways to share your efforts.
For instance, you could invite members to do grocery shopping and run errands for those most at risk for coronavirus. Then:
- Easily create eye-catching announcement graphics in Faithlife Proclaim.
- Share the event and give reminders and updates through your Faithlife Group.
Create a newsletter to share verses, prayer requests, devotional thoughts, and more in one place. You could also include announcements like this one from Faitlife’s free media for churches affected by coronavirus:
When your newsletter’s complete, send it out by email and publish it in your church’s Faithlife Group to prompt thought and start worthwhile, community-building discussions.
You can also use free services like Google Meet or video chat in Faithlife to do live prayer time or continue your small group prayer meetings.
Here are a few conversation-starters—resources that help provide perspective in times of crisis:
- Uninvited six-session video study
- Christian Life from a Kingdom Perspective 2-hour video course
- Overcoming Crisis Expanded Edition: The Secrets to Thriving in Challenging Times
- Lexham Press Spiritual Growth Bundle (44 vols.)
- J. I. Packer Collection (10 vols.)
- Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans
To strengthen your community, learn together (like through a small group study), and share what you learn.