Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief remains ready to respond during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to partner with Kentucky Emergency Management and other responders. The pandemic has been unlike any previous crisis response and we have been forced to adapt and be creative in our response. For example, Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief donated 12,150 N-95 masks to medical workers and facilities in Kentucky from our flood recovery inventory and prepared almost 6000 meals for children to fill a gap for a school system in Western Kentucky. This is not our typical ministry during a disaster, but it provided opportunities for us to be salt and light during this crisis.
When disasters create havoc in communities, churches along with Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief are to be faithful and to minister with Godly compassion. The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed our ability to react in the same ways that we typically respond in times of disaster. Yet the church remains called by God to minister when our neighbors are hurting and overwhelmed.
Here are some thoughts for ministry during this time:
- Pray for our neighbors, and for God to bring healing to our state. Pray for opportunities to engage in spiritual conversations.
- Be agents of peace who calm rather than encourage panic. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of sound mind.
- Seek to encourage others and to demonstrate the hope that we have in Christ. Many people are more open to Gospel conversations during seasons of crisis as they are awakened to the frailty of life.
- Develop a plan to check on the most vulnerable in your congregation and community. Those who might be ill, or who are at higher risk. This does not have to be direct contact. It could be by phone, text, or email.
- 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 whom we are ministering. We want to help those in need but not create risks that could further infect ourselves or others.
- Look for creative ways to worship, to share spiritual truths, to demonstrate compassion, and to minister in this unique time. This will require us to think out of the box, but it also creates opportunities to take the church beyond the four walls of our buildings.
Be reminded that the church has always been willing to run toward not away from times of crisis for the sake of Christ and our neighbors. This is a difficult time that is causing many to be filled with anxiety and stress but is also a time for us as the church to demonstrate the peace, grace, and hope of Christ.
Finally, I would offer the words of the Psalmist,
“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. As followers of Christ may we be those who demonstrate to a world shaken by this pandemic that our feet rest on the solid rock of Christ.