Ministry experts are aplenty. Everyone on my social media timeline has an opinion about what pastors should be doing during the Covid-19 crisis. You should preach a certain way, lead a certain way, and so forth. The truth is, nobody living has ever experienced anything like this, and we are all plodding our way through it. Things are likely to get worse before they get better. Some good ideas are rising to the surface that can be helpful in navigating the circumstances.
Since everyone else is an expert and is weighing in on the matter, I have a few ideas to share as well. Pastor, draw near to God like never before. He is our hope, and he has the answers. Redeem the time with these different rhythms, as challenging as they are, to grow in your faith. Deepen your prayer life and ask God what may be learned from the circumstances. Pray for all who are sick, facing loss, and stressed out. People are asking a lot of questions and are open to spiritual matters. As you are able, leverage those opportunities to point people to the saving grace of Jesus.
Pastor, be yourself. Don’t concern yourself with how professional or slick your online presence is, and don’t compare it to others. The people you serve are glad to see you making an effort to minister to them. They are glad to see you. Love them well. Minister the Word to people and the Holy Spirit will use your efforts.
We are limited, in person to person contact opportunities. We are not currently able to make visits like we normally do as pastors. Use the extra time you have to contact people one by one. Just call and check-in with them, send a text, ask how they are doing, and discover prayer needs. Work also at keeping the people you serve, connected with one another. You can’t do it all.
Don’t overwhelm the church with information. They are already overloaded with everything going on. They are concerned about the health of their family, their jobs, and a thousand other things. They don’t need (or want) twenty different online content pieces a week from you. Streamline your efforts in order to maximize your objectives. Be careful not to be an opportunist by drawing attention to yourself. Draw attention to Jesus. He is enough!
There will be some tremendous ministry opportunities when this crisis passes, and it will eventually pass. Is it possible God could use this time to reset our priorities and focus? Let’s not waste it.