5 Thoughtful Things Your Church CAN Do During COVID-19
The Lᴏʀᴅ himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or
abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid. —Deuteronomy 31:8
In these troubling times, we find comfort in knowing that God is with us and has a plan. It has certainly been an unpredictable few weeks for us here at Horst Construction, and we are sure that our friends in the religious sector are feeling the same strange and quiet discontent. Not being able to worship together and participate in our normal church activities as a spiritual community is certainly a challenging disruption that shakes the core structure of our lives. In a time when embracing our faith is more important than ever, this void is a painfully pronounced.
That said, one of the most constructive approaches to difficult situations is to identify and embrace positive strategies to things you can control. As such, we thought we would share some great resources that we have gathered for churches who want to get think outside the box.
Here are five thoughtful things churches are doing to support their surrounding communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Offer a creative way to connect or pray.
We recently read about a church that is offering sign up opportunities for 15-minute time slots with their pastoral staff for one-on-one prayer or Q&A’s through programs like Zoom. This digital approach is an ingenious way to offer a unique experience recreating something resembling the missing human connection we are all experiencing during this unprecedented time of social distancing. Similarly, small prayer groups could connect in the same way by dedicating time slots and holding a digital teleconference session each week. Although the same can be accomplished on regular phone conference calls, being able to see one another does help promote the feeling of connection and reminder of personal relationships that exist in the “real world” that we will all return to soon.
2. Spread words of reassurance to strangers.
During this very isolating time, many in your local community who may not have a home base for worship are left floating out to sea without a raft. This would be a wonderful time for community outreach and a reminder that your church would love to welcome them with open arms. Identify a small radius surrounding your church and send out some greeting cards that contain a hand-written message of reassurance. Getting something nice in the mail right now would make anyone smile and could go a long way in helping someone feel less alone in a time of need. Bridging the gap for those who could use a new faith-based community could bring some peace of mind and human connection to your neighbors.
3. Provide ancillary food support services.
Those who are at a high risk for contracting COVID-19 or have mobility issues have a deepening need for nutritional support right now. Consider reaching out to local food banks and pantries to offer support in contact-less meal delivery or donating resources if you are able. Healthy and capable volunteers for contact-less grocery or food delivery services, meals on wheels, or organized drive-thru meals are also ways your church leadership team and congregation can support the food needs of your neighboring community members during the pandemic – and is a wonderful and rewarding outreach to continue even beyond the current situation!
4. Create a chalk scavenger hunt to encourage exercise.
Being cooped up in the house with little to do has more implications than just making us all stir-crazy – it’s also not great for our health. Encourage your community and congregation to get out and exercise in the fresh air by creating a fun interactive chalk scavenger hunt in your community.* Hide your church logo, small crosses, scripture messages, encouraging phrases, and other fun icons throughout the community on sidewalks, driveways, and parking lot surfaces and inspire people to find them all. You could post a list on your social media or website of what there is to find, and they can e-mail your church to get the key to make sure they’ve found them all at the end. If you want, you could even turn it into a contest of sorts, with people entering by posting photos of their families finding your items along the way.
*Please follow the guidelines put in place by your state and local officials regarding social distancing and time spent outside your home.
5. Support medical professionals in unique and thoughtful ways.
One of the most beautiful things to come from this devastating pandemic has been the realization from our world of just how important the heroes in our medical community are. Why not identify a few creative ways to support the wonderful medical professionals in your area? Find out if your local hospital is accepting sewn masks and put together a few craft members of your congregation to create some to donate. Send a basket of muffins or pastries from the local café to the doctor’s office down the street and show your appreciation for their hard work while also supporting local a local restaurant that may be struggling. Have members of your church record themselves saying thank you and sending you the video, then combine them into one large video to send to the hospital in your city to boost their spirits and show your gratitude for all they are doing. Think outside the box and let the hard-working individuals in our medical communities know we see their sacrifices and appreciate them!
Bonus: We love this recent blog by Brian Dodd on Leadership too! It details 5 more smart things churches are doing during the current crisis.
We hope this has sparked your creativity and given you some things to think about it. We continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers and hope that you and your church communities are staying healthy and safe.
Posted April 16, 2020