A thousand things have been written about the coronavirus and how it is impacting the Church, and this may not be the addition of any new information, but I want to share a couple of positive thoughts. Over the past week, I have noticed numerous reasons I believe God might be using the virus as a blessing in his Church.
- Hygiene has increased. Our Church has always kept hand sanitizer available around the building. We have always cleaned and disinfected the toys every week. Not every Church has done this, and they are now increasing the overall safety of the Church.
- Technology is being utilized. This issue is forcing many Churches to update their approach to online services, video, and Facebook live. The impact of these last few weeks will be felt for years in the Christian community because of these shifts.
- The need for ALL online ministry. I write this blog, have started a podcast, and I am leading our Church through a book of doctrine called Core 52 on Facebook. All these things are great resources for a Church that is canceling meetings. We also provide a site called RightNowMedia free from the Church to the people who are connected to our Church, and it is filled with valuable teaching and resources. All these tools enable the Church to keep moving forward in faith through the internet.
- Church Teamwork. It has been great to see ministries and Churches working together across denomination lines to navigate this crisis. Christians are helping other Christians and Churches for the good of the gospel, and most are doing it for free. Unity is increasing as we work together.
- Some needed rest. People’s lives today are busy, busy, busy. The cancelation of many activities has enabled people to slow down and get some rest.
- It makes us long for community. The old saying is, “You don’t know what you have till its gone.” When the Church is not allowed to meet, it reminds us of how much we need it. I missed seeing some of my brothers and sisters in Jesus yesterday because they were not able to join us. I shudder at the thought of not meeting in the coming weeks. I love my Church family and hate the idea of losing it. I hope you do too.
- It reminds us of the value of human touch. Yesterday I did not shake hands with a single person. I gave no hugs, pats on the back, and no physical contact with other humans. I waved and spoke from a distance. One day soon, I will be able to do those things again, but for now, they are gone. This got me thinking about people who do not have those things and might never get them back. Someone who is sick, elderly, or just lonely who lives in isolation needs us to reach out.
- It has us thinking about life and death issues. Brutal honesty here, either this virus or something else, is eventually going to end our lives. Situations like this should have us thinking about eternal matters. God has a way of using tragedy and difficult situations to remind us that this life is temporary, so we better be right with God.
These are a few of the things I am seeing. Do you have anything you would add to my list?