Reaching Out While Staying In

If you are wondering how you can reach out to people in this time of crisis and social distancing, then please check out this excellent (and brief!) article by fellow Sovereign grace Church pastor Jim Donohue.

Reaching Out While Staying In – by Jim Donohue

When my sons were young, I would sometimes take them to construction sites on my day off so we could watch the big trucks and loaders do their thing.  One day, we pulled up to a busy site and my young son jumped out of the car and yelled, “Wow!”  His brother jumped out right behind him and shouted, “Wow! Wow!” We called it a Double Wow Moment.  The pandemic that has come upon us deserves a Double Wow.

This unique time in history presents us with some great opportunities to reach out to others.  It’s often in times of crisis that people are more open to the gospel, and right now we are all in some form of crisis.  Our neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and family members are scared, and they don’t know where to turn.  Some fear the virus itself; others wonder how they’re going to make rent this month or pay for medicine they need.

This is where we come in. As followers of Jesus, one of our main jobs is to help others become followers of Jesus (Matthew 4:19).  In order to save us, Jesus had to be outward in his focus. When we are joined to Christ through his extraordinary death for us, we too become outward in focus. We become like Him. Since our greatest need has been met in Christ, we can now turn and meet the needs of others, and there are many needs to meet!  So in times of “social distancing” how can we be reaching out while staying in?

Here are a few ways:

  • Prayer – During a time of crisis, people are more open to prayer. They’re struggling with fear, uncertainty, loneliness, despair, boredom and other difficult feelings.  Let’s offer to pray for them during these months. Who can we reach out to today?

  • Service – Meeting practical needs is powerful. Those who are older or in the high-risk category might not be comfortable running to the grocery store or doing an errand.  They also might need some help around the house.  How can we step in to meet these needs?

  • Invitation – In times like these, people are often more open to church than usual, so why not invite them to watch your church’s service if it’s live-streamed? And if it’s not, find another that is. My wife, Trish, just posted this on our neighborhood Facebook group:

Hi neighbors,

What a crazy time we are living through! It’s great to see our neighborhood caring for each other. We know lots of churches in the area are canceled. We attend (and Jim helps pastor) Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, and some other neighboring families attend as well. We are live-streaming our Sunday service through this crisis, so feel free to join us on Sunday morning at 10:00 if you are so inclined! The link is: covfel.org/live

This is a time of anxiety and economic hardship for many. Feel free to send us any prayer requests you might have, and it would be a privilege to pray for you. Also, let us know if we can help with any errands or physical needs. And for those of you with kids home from school: we hope you all stay sane!

There are countless ways to show Christ’s love to those around us, and I hope these few suggestions spur you on as you lead your church. I’d love to hear any ideas you have! Let’s be sure that we use this time, not just to pray the inconveniences away, but to reach out to those who desperately need the hope of the gospel.