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

5 reasons your pastor should take a sabbatical

The word “sabbatical” has different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It has one meaning in the academic community, another meaning in its biblical usage, and still another in many secular settings. For the purpose of this article, I define sabbatical in...

Baptist state convention to host community blood drive

In response to critically low blood supplies in the region, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is hosting a community blood drive at its offices in Cary on Thursday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Following is more information about the drive. WHAT:The Baptist State...

Grandparenting: Embracing a God-sized vision

“Isn’t it great to be a grandparent? You get to spoil them and give them back to their parents!” This is a common response when people find out I am a grandparent, but it reveals an incorrect and incomplete view from a biblical perspective. My wife and I are enjoying this phase of...

How to create a comprehensive disciple-making strategy for your church

As summer arrives in full force, it may be difficult to think about fall ministries. Planning, recruitment, schedules and programming lie ahead, but have you ever asked the question, “What if our preschool, children’s, youth and adult ministries were viewed as layers in one...

11 fun ideas to serve children (and families) this summer

One area of concern school teachers have noticed about children returning to school after months of virtual schooling is the delay or regression of social skills. Time away from in-person interaction has caused a lag in the social and emotional development of many children. With...

Twitter hashtag focuses on the good work of Southern Baptists

On a website that often makes social media look terribly anti-social, many Southern Baptists have been sharing some positivity with the Twitter hashtag #ThisistheSBC. As the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting looms, social media posts and conversations about the...

A ‘Revelation 5’ vision for North Carolina

Near the end of his life while exiled on the island of Patmos, quarantined if you will, the Apostle John was given a foretaste of the future. Part of John’s vision recorded in Revelation 5 includes a picture of thousands and thousands of people from every tribe and language and...

On mission through the Cooperative Program

For almost 100 years, the Cooperative Program (CP) has been the primary way Southern Baptists “do” the work of ministry together both here and abroad. Standing on the firm ground of the Great Commission, the CP is an effective tool that galvanizes the missionary zeal of our...

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!