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

Will you pray and go?

I don’t remember much about that day, but one thing I do remember: it was hot — really hot. The temperature in Newton was near 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. But we had committed to walk our neighborhood and pray for divine appointments. This was the third time in three weeks we...

A Christmas resource with families in mind

Why did Jesus need to come to Earth? This is just one of the thought-provoking questions included in the Advent family devotional surrounding the coming of Christ to the world. “Advent” means coming or arrival, and Family Advent Devotions, developed by the Faith at Home ministry...

California man comes cross country to plant multiethnic church in NC

Is God behind the North Carolina Baptist effort to plant new churches across the state? Gary Lee says yes. He says God called him from California to plant a new church in Raleigh. In fact, Lee is one of many church planters who have been called from other states and nations to...

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering exemplifies our work

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) has supported missionaries to the unreached since 1888. Currently, Southern Baptists can celebrate having 3,640 missionaries serve and share the hope of Christ in the least-reached places across the world with the International Mission...

Hollifield exhorts NC Baptists to prioritize God, gospel & disciple-making

In his final address to messengers as executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), Milton A. Hollifield Jr. challenged N.C. Baptists to devote themselves to the Lord and continue working together to fulfill the Great Commission....

4 keys to creating a spiritually vibrant home

The most-asked question I hear from parents is, “How do we raise kids who will love Jesus in adulthood?” One mom in our church phrased it like this, “What is the secret sauce for raising kids who love Jesus?” In our culture today, these are valid questions, and God left the...

Baptist Children’s Homes offer eternal hope to hurting families

One of the ministries in our state that tugs at my heartstrings is the Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) of North Carolina. I’m thankful for the long and rich partnership between Baptist Children’s Homes and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. North Carolina Baptists have...

EDT search team ‘getting closer’ to finding candidate

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina's nine-member search team is "getting closer" to identifying a candidate to recommend as the next executive director-treasurer.Committee chairman Noah Crowe told the Biblical Recorder in a phone interview that the group is narrowing...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

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

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!