My hat is off to all the remarkable pastors and church leaders across the state who have done a masterful job of helping to contain COVID-19 while carrying on with ministry. Most of them have struggled intensely with decisions to cancel or change worship service arrangements. Many of our churches have altered their services to be livestreamed or drive-in by nature (by the way, I predict the drive-in theatre will make a comeback in all this). They’ve also utilized technology for small group Bible studies, leadership meetings, hospital visits, and pastoral care. I can assure you that none of them had a seminary class on ministry during a pandemic outbreak!
The worst thing we could do right now is criticize these faithful servants. Some are probably being criticized for canceling or altering services, while others are being criticized for holding services that fit within the parameters set by experts. In addition to these unfair criticisms, some of our pastors are struggling to figure out all the technology required to navigate these uncharted waters. Many feel inferior when people compare what they do to some church with a larger staff, wider array of equipment, and more experience in this arena.
I’d say to you Pastors who are doing the best you can that the best you can do is all God expects – keep up the good work. I also encourage church members, especially leaders, not to expect your church to have all the bells and whistles that a larger church may have. Watch your church service as if you’re there in person and give your leaders a pat on the back for faithfulness. The bottom line is we ought not to become infected with comparisonitis (you won’t find this word in the dictionary, but you know what I mean), but we ought to be reminded of the joy of connection with our Lord and His Body!
In the end, I’m seeing so many positive results from the Coronavirus curveball. First, many churches are finding ways to minister that will propel them forward even after all this has subsided. Second, many of our churches are having more people view online services than were attending in person before all this broke out. Finally, the harvest is ripening as this is causing a lot of lost souls to suddenly be still and take inventory of their lives. People are coming to know the Lord in spite of the circumstances. Only God could take a COVID-19 curveball and hit an eternal grand slam!
So, my hat’s off to all the leaders who are doing a remarkable job. Even more, my head is bowed before the One who works in all things to accomplish His purpose. The simple truth is that we may be knocked off balance but God isn’t, and we may be practicing social distancing but the Holy Spirit is intimately present to draw people to the Son for the glory of the Father!
The author may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.