Lost amidst the bad news of the pain caused by the Coronavirus pandemic are the myriad of ways churches have been serving their communities.
According to Christianity Today, across the United States, churches have come up with simple, yet creative methods of serving their neighbors.
In order to highlight this trend, Ed Stetzer, the Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, asked pastors and church members to share what their churches had been doing. The responses provide one small window into the work churches have been doing to serve through this crisis.
Some churches have been giving out food to their communities. A member of a Green Bay, WI church said their church had purchased hundreds of boxes of cereal and handed them out to families as they drove through local schools to pick up meals for their children. Also, Pastor Derwin Gray of Transformation Church in Charlotte shared that his church has committed to providing food boxes for 325 families.
Other churches have looked for ways to serve the elderly and immunocompromised. One church in Dallas has called everyone in their church over 70 and written down their grocery list. Then, they order the groceries and hand-deliver them so they never have to leave their homes. A church in Birmingham has been doing something similar, as they have been delivering groceries to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Stetzer also reported that many churches have taken over discontinued services in their areas. This includes meals on wheels and school lunches.
Churches also told Stetzer how they have served healthcare workers who are on the front lines of the crisis. Two Georgia churches have served coffee and Chick-Fil-A to doctors, nurses, and medical staff in local hospitals. A Nashville-area church has been paying childcare workers to keep the children of healthcare workers and a church in Chattanooga provided meals for first responders.
Pastor Josh Howerton of Lake Pointe Church, a multisite church near Dallas, shared how members of his church have reached out to their neighbors. Many of them have put signs in their yard which read “Self Isolating? I can help! Contact Me.” Then the sign has the member’s name and phone number. Howerton told Stetzer that the church has also held a blood drive and provided food where programs have been shut down.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, churches have also seen an increase in the number of people watching their services online. One major platform for live streaming saw a 400% increase in one Sunday. Churches have not only posted Sunday services but have also been leading times of prayer and shared devotions as well. Many pastors have also leveraged technology to check on their church members who are shut-in during the crisis.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
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