KBC leaders help churches deal with coronavirus

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- As concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) increase in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear issued a recommendation on Wednesday that churches cancel services during the coming weekend.



While many Kentucky Baptist pastors and church leaders expressed their respect for the governor, they also wanted to make the decision on a local level.


Todd Gray, Kentucky Baptist Convention executive director-treasurer, said, “Most Kentucky Baptist church leaders respect our governor and his office and will take his request to consider canceling services seriously. However, most will likely consult their leadership and opt to continue on with the services as planned.”


Gray served as a Kentucky Baptist pastor for several years before coming to the KBC. “If I was pastoring a church today, I would do the following to shepherd the flock as it relates to Sunday services and the current state of the Coronavirus."

  1. I would ask those who are sick to please stay home which is good for them and good for the congregation.

  2. I would encourage those who are concerned to also feel free to stay home.

  3. If our church did not offer live streaming of our services, I would enlist the help of those with technical skills to help us make that service available to our church members and others.

  4. I would see to it that we have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand and that our facility was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

  5. I would urge the church members to avoid shaking hands and hugs though many of them would forego that advice.

  6. Having done all that I would continue to monitor the situation, consult with my leadership, pray for wisdom, and prepare to preach the gospel to those in attendance at the upcoming service.

Jim Donnell, KBC associate executive director for convention operations, recommends churches follow safety protocols recommended by the Center for Disease Control.


“It’s important for churches to maintain clean surfaces in their church buildings,” Donnell said. He also recommended churches place signs reminding people to wash their hands with soap regularly for at least 20 seconds to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

“The CDC is still the best resource for people to find information on the coronavirus, it’s treatment and prevention,” said Donnell. A special page has been set up on the CDC’s website to provide updated information. You can find the page at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.

Lifeway Christian Resources has also established a page with some best practices for churches as they try to limit the spread of the coronavirus. It can be found through the Ministry Grid resource at https://ministrygrid.com/coronavirus.

As for the KBC’s Reach Evangelism Conference scheduled for March 16-17 at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Gray said, “We plan to carry on as planned with precautions. We will be in touch with our out-of-town speakers to assure that they will still be able to join us. We will also ask those who are sick to please stay home.”

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