The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into a crisis that is unprecedented for many nations in the post WW2 era. For many people across the world, it will be nothing new, as they live in a state of perpetual disruption thanks to war or famine or both. It is nevertheless a significant shock to many Australians who have grown up with the comfort of living in the land of plenty. This is exactly a time for the church to step up and continue in the tradition first established by the Early Church of sacrificial service and living out the love of God in the face of crisis.
Moses Lee writing for The Gospel Coalition notes that
The early church was no stranger to plagues, epidemics, and mass hysteria. In fact, according to both Christian and also non-Christian accounts, one of the main catalysts for the church’s explosive growth in its early years was how Christians navigated disease, suffering, and death. The church’s posture made such a strong impression on Roman society that even pagan Roman emperors complained to pagan priests about their declining numbers, telling them to step up their game.
At this stage in Australia, the biggest emergent need is isolation, particularly of the older generation and people who are already ill and who will be at most risk of death. We are in the early stages yet of how this will play out.
Below find an ever-expanding treasure trove of resources for your church. We will update this daily and add more resources and links.
One thing that we can do at this early stage is to let our local community know that we are positioned to serve. A photo proving very popular on Facebook shows a simple notice that can be placed in letterboxes of vulnerable or self-isolated people.
Here’s a version you can use yourself:
Here’s an editable Word version of the above:
You can add a lot more information, and link your help to a church if you want. Here’s an editable Word document of the “We can help” version:
Here is an editable PDF version:
This is a time to step up and be a beacon of hope to your local community. A time to draw upon the hope that our faith gives us, and the love of God that compels us to share that to others around us. This is a time to give hope to those around us.
This is an excellent website fronted by Rick Warren and full of very useful resources to help your church gear up for switching to a new posture of outreach to match our uncertain times – during COVID-19.
This resource contains text that you can adapt for a personal message to your church neighborhood. Click here to access.
Steve Fogg is an experienced campaigner when it comes to online church, and he has put together some useful information for churches looking to go online in a hurry: click here to access.
3. Offer a number that people can call, and set up a team of people to be on duty for shifts.
4. Set up a Call Team who can check in on vulnerable or self-isolating people. A simple call to check on welfare. At this time loneliness will have a crushing effect on many people. Invite people to DM you with their contact details if they would like someone to call.
5. Post leaflets in your neighborhood outlining what ways your church is willing to help, with a range of contact options. Remember that older people don’t necessarily do online.
6. Vistaprint are doing a special promotion with up to 50% off. You can get flyers and postcards done quickly and cheaply. Click here to access.
A collection of those involved in Church Communications who have contributed and collaborated on resources and links.
Mark Crosby, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland
Benjamin Lyon, Living Rock Church
Ben Elliott, Christian Publishing Outreach
Peter Murden, Digital Church Toolkit
Finn Johnston, Digital Church Toolkit
Liz Morgan, Church of England
James Doc, Kingdom Code
A crowdsourced index of useful digital communication tools for church leaders, communications teams and church staff to refer to during the coronavirus outbreak.
This is a working document that is being updated regularly – access it here.
Prayer is not our only response, but it should be our FIRST response.
Guides to setting-up live streaming
Easily accessible resources to use in your church communications
c/o Ministry and Learning Centre
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Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Tel: +61 2 9868 9236