How to care for others in midst of pandemic


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- Amid the chaos, cancellations, quarantines, and confusion, Christians are still called to serve and show the love of Christ to their communities.

Coy Webb, Disaster Relief director at the Kentucky Baptist Convention, says believers should remember the church’s role in a global crisis.

“The church has always been willing to run toward — not away from — times of crisis for the sake of Christ and our neighbors," he said. "This is a difficult time that is causing many to be filled with anxiety and stress, but it is also a time for us, as the church, to demonstrate the peace, joy, love, and hope that we have in Christ.”

He offered these words from Scripture as an encouragement to churches: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10).

“The psalmist confirmed obedience to God’s call but asked God to lead him in a way that his feet could be steady, and he would not fall. This is great instruction as we plan to serve in times of crisis,” Webb said.

He offers five specific ways to help others:

  1. Pray for our neighbors and for God to bring healing grace.

  2. Be agents of peace who calm rather than encourage panic.  God has not given us a spirit of fear.

  3. Develop a plan to check on the most vulnerable in your congregation. Those who might be ill, or who are at higher risk. It does not have to be direct contact. It could be by phone, text, or email.

  4. Develop a plan on how the church might deliver basic supplies to people in need. This plan should include safety precautions so that we minister but minimize risk to those ministering. We want to help those in need but not create risks that could further infect ourselves or others.

  5. As we gather as a family of faith, we should again not be guided by a spirit of fear but are there practices in our church that would increase risks at this time.  For example, it might be best to look at our greeting practices, how we conduct the Lord’s Supper, are we sanitizing and cleaning areas with high touch contact correctly, should we temporarily suspend a nursing home ministry, and so on.

Wes Fowler, senior pastor of First Baptist Mayfield, said it’s wise for pastors to build relationships with community leaders.

“I think it’s always wise to be aware of how other local organizations are responding," he said. "For example, how has the local school system responded and how has the local government responded,” he said.

Fowler said to ask  local officials how your church can be of service. Those connections built in times of crisis may continue for years to come, he said.

One of the first churches that announced changes to their meeting schedule was Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington. Senior Pastor Nick Sandefur reminds the church of her responsibility to evangelize and serve those who are lost and in need regardless of the presence of a global pandemic.

 “Our first mission is to share the message of Christ regardless of our ability to meet as a group,” Sandefur said.


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