Ministry in a Pandemic

When the pandemic set in last March, we were all met with the realities of what we could not do in ministry. Travel on mission? We had to forget about that for awhile, especially with the uneven application of pandemic rules from country to country. Visit people one on one? Hospitals and nursing homes closed quickly to outside visitors. Hold big events? We couldn’t even gather for worship, much less coordinate events with lots of people. There were and remain, many other restrictions from our regular flow of life and ministry. As we await a successful vaccine(s), many in ministry and mission are asking a different question. The question focuses on what we can do, rather than what cannot do. There are a number of things we can do while we wait and persevere.

We can pray. I said early on that we had the opportunity to learn a lot about God and ourselves through these circumstances. Don’t waste the opportunity to draw close to God and deepen your relationship with Him.

We can encourage others. People are on edge and weary. Don’t assume everyone around you is doing well or getting through this the same. Be on the lookout for people you can encourage in your sphere of influence.

We can tell others about Jesus. People are open to spiritual conversations in a unique way right now. Be spiritually in tune with what the Holy Spirit is doing around you and don’t miss openings God may give to share the good news with others.

We can serve locally. Our church is in the midst of preparations for Thanksgiving and Christmas ministries. The needs are great and we can leverage those as we love God and love others by serving their needs.

We can prepare. This time will pass, and we will have renewed opportunities for ministry and mission beyond our immediate areas. I am waiting with a high degree of anticipation for returning to these rhythms of ministry. I am excited to think about the fruit this season of preparation will bear.

We can grow in faith. The news is all gloom and doom. The dark winter is coming, it is getting worse and worse, and so on. I find there is a direct correlation to people’s measure of joy and faith, with how much they watch the news. A steady diet of fear will drain your faith. Our future is bright because of the character and promises of God. I will not be drained by fear, I am resolved to be driven by faith. I don’t want to just hold on, I want to thrive and the best way I know how to do that is to trust in God!