Families across America and the world have been immobilized by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Some families we have talked with are so fear-stricken that they are even afraid to open the door of their own homes.
Some families are medical families. Their worry and stress is exacerbated every time they suit up and go out onto the floor to see patients who may or may not carry the deadly disease. Doctors, nurses, and medical professionals of all kinds arrive at home, strip down, scrub their bodies raw before touching their precious children or hugging their husbands and wives.
Health conscious families whose bike rides and hikes have been limited by closures of parks and recreational areas are struggling to find a rhythm again. Food items that were once readily available and a part of their family’s diets have now been scavenged both from store shelves and online.
Families with faith at the center have been stripped of in-person fellowship as worship services and small groups have been cancelled. Those who like to share a meal can only share a cup of coffee over a ZOOM session.
School? Teachers? Ride-sharing? Babysitting? A challenge to be sure.
A lot has changed for families in the last weeks. In the days ahead more learning, shifting, and adapting will happen among churches, businesses, communities, and families.
Imagine for a moment that you or one of your family members had the name Noah. Lets just say for the sake of our narrative Noah was 500 years old. One day God gets in touch with Noah and tells him that life as he knew it was about to change. Not only that but him, his family, and some animals are going to get on a boat that he will build himself and then be isolated until it was time to come out many days later (40 days, 40 nights).
How much of a shift would that be in Noah’s life and the life of his family? Pretty intense right? Well that is the account given in Genesis beginning in chapter 5.
I say that to say that the learning curve, shift, and adaptation we must go through is nowhere near that of Noah and his family.
Our families have been asked to stay home—not build a boat. The earth as we know it with all the people on it including the animals are not going to be wiped out—at least not by this alone according to biblical scholars.
In fact, the projected numbers are even way more promising and hopeful than Noah’s that’s for sure!
There is however, a very big danger. It is not the danger of a word like “virus” that is striking fear in the hearts of people globally. It is the danger of becoming worse people and families rather than better ones.
As many of us have thought about the state of the church today we often think of them as perhaps a bit selfish and self-serving. Out of touch with the rest of the world if you will. When we find churches that “do it right” we applaud them because it can be rare to find churches looking outside of themselves to serve others in their communities.
That very same thing has happened to the “micro-church” or more plainly our families that make up the Body of Christ which we call the church. The question becomes, do we have to wait on the guy on stage to give us the go-ahead to reach outside and help or can we understand from the very beginning that Christ designed the church to be living and breathing inside of communities all over the world?
The danger for us is to live in the same fear that many churches have. As we have been around churches and consulting for many years, we have found that churches look like the families that attend them and the leaders that lead them. If families and leaders are fearful of loosing what they have they often go inward and into protection mode and that can be the beginning of a bad journey downward.
Our life’s work is dedicated to uniting the global church to look and function like the Body of Christ was intended to function. When we say global church we don’t mean all the people in buildings on Sundays, we mean every person who believes in and follows Christ in every home, in every community, everywhere in the world.
Our calling as families during this crisis is the same as it has always been according Jesus. That calling is to live as Christ did and follow Him even now into the world as He heals, loves, and restores it. That certainly will mean leaving the idea that it is all about our own families getting through this and embracing the idea that it is really about every family getting through this and what can we do in our families to reach out and help.
What does that mean for us and our families? It means we get involvedwith our communities–maybe for the first time ever. We join emotional hands (because obviously we don’t want to get sick) and link hearts with everyone in our communities. Here is how.
-Give financially to people and causes that will benefit others more than ourselves and our own families.
-Serve as a family in ways that help the community and those around us.
-Comfort others that need comfort and hope, not just those we love.
-Inspire others as we inspire our own families to reach out and do the same.
-Love. Love others more than you ever have. Drown them with compassion, grace, forgiveness, mercy, patience, and kindness.
This is how families should respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This is what will mobilize an immobilized world. This is what will move us forward past the fear and into a relationship and understanding with each other and with God.
Of course, after all that talk you didn’t think we wouldn’t help you get started right? If you don’t already have some ideas of your own but you and your family are ready to help. Here are some ways you can get started.
First, you probably already guessed we are involved in helping people in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are getting requests in daily from people with emergency needs. Of course many of those needs take finances, volunteers, and partners.
If you would like to give financially to meet the needs of people impacted by this crisis CLICK HERE.
If you, your family, or business would like to partner or volunteer with us: CLICK HERE
Of course, if you are a person, family, or business that needs help, we want you to tell us how we can help by CLICKING HERE.
Thank you for being the church Christ intended!