The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact churches, ministry partners and staff across our Texas Baptists family. While the situation remains fluid and there are many unknowns, we can rest assured that our help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. We hope these suggestions will prove valuable to your ministry. Further updates to ministry operations will be posted to our COVID-19 Response page in the coming days.
Heed gathering restrictions and guidance
In areas where virus cases are confirmed and the risk of community spread exists, gathering restrictions are being suggested, if not ordered by some local governments. Churches and ministry partners are encouraged to heed gathering restrictions implemented by local governments and continue to follow state and federal guidance as well.
This Sunday, Baptists around the country are taking part in a day of prayer in the midst of this global pandemic. Pray fervently: that God, in His mercy, would stop the pandemic and save lives in our communities and around the world; that leaders would direct us in the best course of action for prevention and care; that first responders and healthcare workers would have courage and strength to fight this disease; that many would turn to God. Read our prayer guide here.
Though school, business, and community functions are being halted, the opportunity to do ministry does not stop. Church leaders are urged to continue emphasizing the importance of faithful stewardship and generosity among congregations. Read our guide for churches, including a section on online giving, here. Churches may also consider giving to the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program online by card or through ACH as opposed to sending checks that require manual processing.
Mobilize to serve
TBM, the disaster relief arm of Texas Baptists, is in continuous contact with local, state, and federal authorities and is preparing for a range of virus-related response options. In the coming days, it is expected that there will be “significant opportunities” for churches and church members to engage in volunteer ministry. Learn more and support TBM here.
Share stories of the faithful
It is easy to succumb to fear in times like these. Help us to tell the story of the faithful who are actively sharing Christ and showing love in the midst of this pandemic. If you have a story of what God is doing in your church and community, share it here.
We will continue to update our COVID-19 Response page as new information and stories come available, and lift up our eyes to the LORD for wisdom and discernment in our response. May the LORD keep you from all harm as you minister in the days to come.