By Kyle Bueermann
There are scores of posts about what pastors and churches can’t do during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s true. There’s a lot we’re unable to do.
Churches are unable to gather together in person these days. Small groups can’t gather together. We can’t meet with other pastors at local restaurants or coffee shops for times of encouragement or accountability.
If I’m frank, there’ve been a lot of days I’ve fretted over all the things we can’t do. I miss deeply the privilege of gathering together with the saints week in and week out.
There’s much to lament in this season. But there’s much more we can celebrate. What’s more, there are many things we can all do, even during these days of stay-at-home orders and social distancing.
1. We can proclaim the gospel.
One of the things warming my heart immensely during this time is how my social media timelines are filling with solid, gospel-centered preaching and teaching.
We have incredible tools at our disposal right now to proclaim the gospel from living rooms and church foyers to the very ends of the earth.
Seeing the churches do drive-in services with parking lots full of cars is awesome.
Given the global pandemic we’re experiencing and the technology available to us, there may have been more hearing the gospel on Easter Sunday 2020 than any other day in all of history.
Keep proclaiming the hope we have in the gospel!
2. We can love our church members.
While we can’t gather in person these days, we can still shepherd the flocks that God has entrusted to each of us.
Through the blessing of digital tools like Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Zoom, we’re able to see our members face-to-face and encourage them.
Through text messaging and social media, we’re able to be in contact with our members regularly.
And don’t underestimate the value of a simple phone call to check on a senior adult who doesn’t have a smartphone or internet access.
There’s no substitute for being able to shake a hand or hug a neck, and those days will return, but in the meantime, we can still love on the folks who are a part of our churches.
3. We can encourage one another.
It might be cliché by now, but this experience has been a great leveler. Churches large and small have had to figure out how to navigate these uncharted waters.
None of us knew how to minister when you can’t gather in-person for an extended period.
So, lean deeply into relationships with fellow pastors in these days.
If you’re able to meet in person one-on-one (within social distancing guidelines, of course), then I’d encourage you to do so. Maybe get a few pastors together for a Zoom chat.
Pastor, you’re not alone. If I can serve you in any way, please reach out, but above all, stay faithful.
Spend more time in Scripture than you do reading news or social media. And remember that these days, however long they may last, are still only temporary.
KYLE BUEERMANN (@kylebueermann) co-authored Replanting Rural Churches and is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Alamogordo, New Mexico, director of replanter development for the North American Mission Board, and co-host of Not Another Baptist Podcast.