Redeeming the pandemic: How can you use this crisis to reach more people than ever before?

Sent Friday, March 20, 2020

Greetings, my friends and partners in the gospel.

Everyone seems to be saying that these are unprecedented days. That’s because, for most of us, it’s true. The 1957 influenza epidemic was the last time we faced a disease on this global scale. Before that, we’d have to go back to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 for historical reference. 

But this unprecedented challenge is an unprecedented opportunity for the gospel. 

We are seeing reports of remarkable ways pastors and churches are using digital resources to serve their people. As I noted in today’s Daily Article, many are making their worship services and messages available online and mobilizing to serve those who are in need. One Alabama church arranged for nearly a thousand people to be tested for the virus in just two days

My point in today’s blog is that this crisis may present you and your congregation with new ways to reach people you could not reach before. To illustrate, let me tell you about Pastor Ryan Rush and Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas

The church is responding in remarkable ways

I met Ryan when he was a student in my doctoral seminar at Dallas Baptist University. Later, I was privileged to speak at his church during a conference on culture and family. His passion and that of his church for many years has been serving families faithfully. He and his leadership team have developed remarkably creative ways to help parents and their children know Jesus, follow him daily, and make him known. 

Now, with families all over their Jerusalem forced to stay at home, people are more in need of such resources than ever. As a result, Kingsland is offering “Pandemic Resources for Your Home” and an email address through which anyone can ask for help. 

Ryan tells me that people their church had not known before are responding in remarkable ways. 

God is redeeming this crisis by using it to enable Kingsland to serve new families all over their area. When the pandemic passes, it will be wonderful to learn of so many who have come to Christ or come back to him as a result. 

How is your church responding?

Here are my questions: 

  • What ministry has your church already been doing? 
  • How could you make that ministry available to those who now recognize their need for it? 
  • How could God redeem this crisis by using it to help you reach new people for Jesus? 

On a related subject, Pastor Rush asked me this week to record a conversation with him about the coronavirus epidemic and has made that video available. You can watch it below or at this link.

On another note, I am preaching this Sunday via video from Mark 9 and my favorite prayer in the Bible. As we deal with the inevitable doubts that arise at a time like this, we can pray what a father with a suffering child prayed, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” (v. 24). 

You are welcome to read or share my sermon, “Dealing with doubts: Coronavirus and my favorite prayer in Scripture.” 

Know that I and our team are praying for you and your church families as we walk through these days together. It is a privilege to share this ministry with you. 

May God’s peace that “surpasses all understanding” be yours today (Philippians 4:7). 

—Jim Denison