Phillip Barnard on How to Strategically Caring for the Church During an Economic Crisis

Strategic (adjective):  Carefully designed or planned to serve a particular purpose or advantage. 

The world is currently in the grip of an unprecedented crisis caused by the spread of the COVID-19 disease (unprecedented, at least, within our lifetime). Beyond the ruinous health and mortality implications, the contagion is beginning to tear at the very economic foundations of our society, threatening widespread socioeconomic turmoil and plunging potentially millions of vulnerable people into financial peril.

Despite the potential for fear, this is not the time for the Church to retreat. It is the time for the Church to rise in faith and rise in action. As your church leadership prepares to guide the spiritual well-being of your church community, let’s also plan for their economic well-being: let’s strategically ensure that the most vulnerable in our church communities are cared for (and through) these difficult times.

Here are 5 fundamental actions church leaders must take:

1) PRAY.

Yes, it is obvious. Yes, we’re all praying already. But it’s too important to not be our foundation. In our prayers, let’s thank God that He is still sovereign (Ps. 135:6) and that His purposes will still be achieved (Is 46: 9-10). Let’s thank Him for His love and compassion for the sick and vulnerable (Ps. 147:3), and ask that His compassion becomes our compassion. Let’s also ask for His unmatchable wisdom and insight (Job 12:13) to become ours as we serve and care for His people (James 1:5).

2) START WITH YOUR TEAM.

While it might be natural to first think about the impact of this challenge on our congregation, we should initially care for our staff and team. Our staff all have families to lead, the practicalities of life to navigate, and personal concerns weighing on their mind. Take the time to meet with them personally, answer questions they may have about their roles, and offer to include them in the network of support if they need. While this is primarily an expression of our duty of care to those who faithfully minister alongside us, it also ensures that we have a strong team ready to care for our greater congregation.

3) LEAD BY DIALOGUE.

One of the most frightening thoughts during a difficult time is the belief that we are alone. It is the dreaded fear that in our time of need – social, practical, emotional, financial – we will find no one willing to come to our side.

We fear we will be alone.

We fear we will be vulnerable.

And we fear we will have to face the fight by ourselves.

As church leaders, let’s be proactive in opening this dialogue to let our people know that they are not alone, that help is available without shame or embarrassment, and that our church community will not allow anyone to be left behind during this challenging season.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Phillip Barnard