“COVID-19 is a vitamin for our church, not a virus” said Bob Moon, Minister of Education and Administration at FBC Portland, TN., during a recent Zoom meeting. I wish I had been the first to coin the phrase, but Bob beat me to it! It’s a great way to think of the COVID-19 pandemic. I love the positive and enthusiastic way of viewing the changes that COVID-19 is creating in our churches. There really is a silver lining to the events of the past 8 weeks, and the weeks and months that are ahead. Bob’s view of the COVID-19 virus gives us two ways to think about our present and future state in church.
If we view COVID-19 as a virus, we may:
- Be tempted to think of ourselves as victims.
- Be paralyzed because of the daunting challenges ahead of us.
- Worry that churchgoers will not come back.
- Grieve over the loss of handshakes, hugs, and other things we value.
- Resent government officials when they present guidelines or mandates.
- Armchair quarterback the decisions of our pastors and staff.
If we view COVID-19 as a vitamin, we may:
- Be thankful that God has strengthened our resolve to come back together again.
- Give in a more sacrificial way to provide for the financial needs of our church.
- Appreciate the men and women in our Bible study groups.
- Lay aside petty differences and arguments we held onto before COVID-19 sent us home.
- Pray more and read our Bibles more.
- Evaluate what truly matters in life.
- Realize how much we depend upon God to sustain us and the world around us.
- Treasure the new ways we have adjusted to go online, reaching new people in the process we might never have reached pre-COVID.
- Accept that there are few things in life we are really in control of.
- Thank God for the food we have on the table, and for little things like toilet paper and paper towels. 🙂
- Encourage our pastors and staff leaders who are charged with shepherding the flock, making hard decisions these days to keep us safe.
- Find new, creative ways of doing ministry than we ever thought about before.
- Be better witnesses to friends, family, and neighbors.
- Slow down, talk to neighbors, and spend time with our families.
So you see, it’s not all bad news. Let’s choose to view COVID-19 as a vitamin, not a virus. It can give the church new energy as she faces a future that will be different, but not decimating; it will give us strength, not a shellacking; it will make us stronger, not more slight; it will cause us to be more reliant (upon God), and less resolved to think we are in control.
I choose to view COVID-19 as a vitamin, not a virus. Thanks, Bob Moon, for the reminder that God is doing good things through something difficult!