As more and more Americans are requested to isolate themselves, the Church must not have a defeatist mentality; rather, we should view this as an opportunity that could potentially position the Church for its greatest evangelistic growth in generations. People are scared and confused; anxiety abounds; this is where we have the chance to share the words of Christ and encourage the people not to fear. This is also the time for Christians to remind each other that not only do we serve a risen Savior, but we also serve the great Physician. Realistically, now is also the time for Churches to prepare prudently for the coming days ahead. Loneliness and isolation can be dangerous breeding grounds for depression. Shortages in stores also present an opportunity to love our neighbors in new and unprecedented ways. Now is the time where the Church can really be the good Samaritan to the communities we have been called to serve.
Churches across Europe are beginning to grapple with the difficulties of conducting services, particularly funerals, in an age where people cannot gather and find closure, comfort, or a shoulder on which to cry. Even at the most conservative of estimates, the reality is that almost every Church in the country may very well experience at least someone they know who is sick with the virus. Pastors may even be called on to conduct funerals virtually in the coming weeks and months ahead. We cannot afford not to build the type of community online that provides comfort to the hurting, peace to the distressed, and hope to the hopeless.
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