Now what if we are able to't meet? Set mission in mission | The trade

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The new CDC guidelines were released last night. They recommend that no meetings "of 50 people or more in the United States" be held in the next eight weeks.

What now?

I spoke to an official in the administration and found that the federal government is very cautious about notifying churches that they can / cannot meet, but we should expect that this type of guidance does not include large groups that involve churches .

I also contacted the general surgeon's office. (As I mentioned, I met the general surgeon and his team a few weeks ago.) Dr. Janet Wright shared

Thank you for your message. I know that you and your networks are aware of the CDC guidelines for faith-based organizations that are available here and were last updated on March 6th. While the new guidelines (March 15) do not specifically address the churches, public health principles for social distancing and protecting the most vulnerable definitely apply. Like all CDC guidelines, this is a recommendation based on the best available scientific evidence.

In other words, this will almost certainly be what your churches expect unless we hear a little more from the CDC. So we should plan accordingly.

Since most churches will follow the recommendations, this means that from now on we will see a mass movement to smaller institutions or groups. For the churches, this means that all of your Easter plans have just changed up to this point.

We will provide additional resources, including a podcast, to be released today at to address this crisis. The new podcast is called Leading in the Coronavirus Crisis and will include pastors, scientists, advisors and more.

This is not the first time that churches have been asked not to meet for a certain period due to an infectious outbreak. In this article, you'll find a precedent in Washington, DC, in 1918. But it's the first time in our lives that we face this. Here are some initial thoughts as we go forward.

First, we must remind ourselves and those we lead that God is still in control and is not surprised by all of this, and we must do it consistently and continuously.

How did you respond in Acts 4 when the early believers faced their first persecution with the arrest of Peter and John? After their release, Peter and John raised their voices in prayer with the Church, starting with “Sovereign Lord” (Acts 4:23). We constantly praise and honor God no matter what the circumstances.

Secondly, we have to see this as an opportunity and not necessarily as liability.

Instead of telling your people that we have to do this based on the government's recommendation, we can say that we can do something special in our community to show our care for the most vulnerable and to show that the Church is wide more than one church is weekend get-together. It could be that this Easter the church will be more scattered in our congregations than in our buildings.

Third, the elephant in the room looks at the weekends for the coming weeks.

If you are not yet using online technology for services, now is the time to do so. Here are some helpful resources: I saw a number of cases where small groups gathered to watch the services together. What a great opportunity to gather and invite others who are not at higher risk to join the worship service. At the same time, let's pray a lot for pastors who have to make many decisions.

Fourth, we can live out the Great Commandment.

First mobilize your community to protect those at risk. We can thank that almost anyone under the age of 60 who is otherwise healthy should be able to fight off the coronavirus if you become infected with it.

And everyone in this significant population group should first take care to protect those outside, especially the elderly. Tell your seniors that they can fully exercise their freedom in Christ to stay away from congregations and practice social distancing and effective hygiene practices as we should all.

Set up a ministry to review and help them. Let me say straight away: if you are a young or middle-aged adult, consider the words of Dr. Michael S. Saag, a world-famous professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Alabama-Birmingham: “Someone over the age of 80 has a mortality risk of up to 40%. "

Fifth, this is the time to live the Great Order as your church becomes the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus in the coming days.

This includes how we deal with each other, how we react to adversity and how we show and share the love of Christ to the ecclesiastical. God has given us an amazing opportunity to live our faith in our communities. Some specific options:

  • Providing childcare for healthcare workers whose children do not go to school
  • Preparation of meals for children and families in need
  • Walking a dog for older neighbors
  • Offer to pick up food and supplies for the most vulnerable
  • Call regularly and send an SMS to your neighbors to check in
  • In the words of HOPE for those dealing with anxiety and depression
  • Support local businesses by ordering wherever possible
  • If you need to go shopping, ask the workers how they are doing and tell them that you will pray for their safety

When this season is over – and it will pass – we will eventually plan a big celebration of thanksgiving to God and invite all our communities to gather with us. What a remarkable opportunity to join our employees, healthcare workers, civil servants and so many others who have walked this path together.

May this be a time when this season's uncertainty and discomfort make us catalysts for creative and effective means of reaching others. May it be a time when we show our fellow human beings that we take care of them and are the weakest in our communities.

Paul mainly served in the synagogue when he first came to Ephesus in Acts 19. However, he soon encountered resistance, which forced him to adjust. He moved to a different location and focused on teaching daily. What happened? Verse 10 says:

"This took two years so that all Asians heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks." Sometimes the unexpected exams open up opportunities for the service that we've never thought of. May this be such a time and may we be ready.

Ed Stetzer is executive director of the Billy Graham Center, dean at Wheaton College, and publishes resources for church leadership through the Mission Group. The Exchange team helped with this article.

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