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

EDT search team ‘moving closer’ to recommending candidate

The search committee charged with finding the next leader of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is “moving closer” to recommending a final candidate to North Carolina Baptists as the next executive director-treasurer. Search committee chairman Noah Crowe provided an...

‘The mission moves forward’

North America is a mission field of complex cultures and diverse religious practices. Missionaries here face challenges from secularism to language barriers to a historic health crisis. Yet, in spite of the obstacles, God’s mission always moves forward. Your partnership helps make...

Deadline extended to recommend individuals to serve

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Committee on Nominations has voted to extend the deadline to submit recommendations for individuals to serve in various leadership roles with the state convention and its related entities.Recommendations will now be accepted...

8 strengths of plural leadership

Several years ago a pastor friend from a nearby Baptist church invited me to share with his congregation some biblical teaching on plural elder leadership. As I waited for the service to begin that evening, a display in the church’s foyer caught my attention. It was the original...

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 March 2021

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...

Seeking sending churches

One of the biggest obstacles to planting effective new churches is a lack of qualified, prepared planters. In recent times, before COVID-19, I sat in a room with evangelical church planting leaders from across the nation. In presentation after presentation these national leaders...

‘Reimagine’ resource addresses today’s realities, tomorrow’s possibilities

How does your church see this COVID moment? On a recent webcast by the Barna Group titled “Caring for Souls in a New Reality,” panelists posed the question, “Is this an interruption or a disruption?” An interruption means that this is only a temporary interference in our lives,...

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!