5 reminders for ministering in the midst of crisis

March 18, 2020

When Hurricane Katrina roared ashore along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August 2005, I wasn’t prepared for what I would face as a pastor.

Families lost homes, businesses and church facilities overnight. The church where I served as senior pastor — First Baptist Church of Gulfport, Miss. — was one that lost its entire facility.

The storm launched a three-year journey of relief, recovery and rebuild. Seminary did not prepare me to minister in the midst of such a crisis, but from 2005-2008, the “school of hard knocks” met on a daily basis.

Here are some pastoral lessons I learned that certainly apply to the current crisis related to the coronavirus.

  1. Double your time with the Lord.
    Pastor, you have many extra responsibilities right now adjusting to ministry in the midst of the coronavirus. Launching electronic worship, jump-starting home Bible study groups, ministering in unique ways to your community and more. You will be tempted to rob your devotional time with the Lord to complete all of these critical tasks, but don’t! Now, more than ever, you need the strength, peace and wisdom that comes from walking closely with the Lord. Get in the Word, and get on your knees – each and every day.
  2. Don’t neglect your family.
    Yes, you are busier than ever, and circumstances will require extra time and attention, but do not choose your ministry over your family – ever! Right now, during these days of a continual bombardment of frightening news, your wife needs your companionship, your children need your calm assurance that everything will be OK, and they all need your love. During these days, continually give your family more attention not less.
  3. Don’t try to be Superman.
    Do not attempt to “go it alone” during this time of national, community and church crisis. Gather around you some spiritually mature men and women to help you make and implement wise decisions for the church. Ministry is a team sport. So, build your team and trust your team. We are better together.
  4. Definitely seize the opportunity.
    Now, more than ever, your community is ready to receive loving ministry from your church and your tender, yet bold proclamation of the gospel. Meet the needs of the folks in your community, and, as you do, proclaim the life-transforming message of Jesus. This may well be a redemptive moment in history for your community.
  5. Determine to trust our sovereign Lord.
    Always keep in mind that COVID-19 did not take our Lord by surprise, and as the global pandemic unfolds, He is totally in charge. Seated upon His throne, He reigns today, tomorrow and for eternity. You can and you must trust Him.

Pastor, I hope these thoughts were helpful for you. They were certainly good reminders for me.


by Chuck Register  
/  Church Planting and Missions Partnerships  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

6 new rhythms and new normals for your summer

COVID-19 turned our spring upside down and forced us to create new ways to offer discipleship training to our families. Hopefully, parents have embraced the call to disciple their children at home. As summer arrives and teachers no longer send school work home, parents may have...

6 questions to reframe your ministry vision after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into new rhythms. Stay-at-home orders for all but the most essential of professionals, caregivers and service providers have dramatically impacted families, businesses and government.Churches are not immune from this impact. Social...

Top 5 resources for June 2020

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Fort Caswell adjusts summer operations amid COVID-19

Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) officials announced Friday, May 29, that no large group gatherings will take place at Fort Caswell this summer. Instead, Caswell is providing camp and retreat options for...

Continuing to follow God’s plan

By now, many of you are aware of my plans to retire from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina on Feb. 28, 2021. I made this announcement during a recent executive committee meeting, and I also shared the details with our convention staff and the full board of directors....

9 ways to prepare families (and churches) to worship with children

As we slowly ease out of quarantine, many of us are excited to head back to our church campuses. While we have been grateful for online worship services, nothing can compare to worshipping together with our brothers and sisters. However, there will still be some restrictions and...

SBC leaders commend CDC guidelines to churches

Southern Baptist leaders commended to churches the new federal guidelines for restoring in-person worship gatherings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, even as efforts to resolve conflicts between state governments and faith communities continue. The Centers for Disease...

How to make discipleship part of your family’s rhythms

Honestly, most days are a blur. Mornings are a flurry of getting ready for school and work. Days are a blur between work deadlines, after-school activities and traffic. At the end of most of my days, all I want to do is sit in my recliner, kick my feet up and relax — but there’s...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for our monthly newsletter and events email.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!