‘I don’t know how to reach out and help! Or even if I should?!’
In a season of quarantine and social distancing, how can local churches continue their mission to reach out beyond what are now virtual walls?
As a gospel coach to many pastors and church planters in the US and UK, I’ve heard two good ideas worth trying.
1. Neighborliness Note
Andy W. and his wife, who planted in a very secular city, took the initiative to put a note with their names and phone numbers on the door of every house on their short street. The note simply suggested forming a social media group to stay in touch. Here’s what they found helpful.
- Suggest an app like WhatsApp or GroupMe.
- At the beginning, act like a host of a virtual party, asking questions of those that join the group.
- Ask if anyone is sick or needs help with anything.
- Let members of the group meet the needs that are shared.
- Pray for the people in the group privately.
- Ask your church to pray about starting a group on their street.
Interestingly, this idea wasn’t the brainstorm of a cutting edge church planter. Andy brilliantly did his R&D and ripped off and duplicated the idea from his mother who lives in a small town.
What are the baby steps of missional living? Loving your actual neighbor, right? This is a great time and season to start with a simple note.
2. Cooperate with Local Food Pantries
Sam K, a planter who meets in a local middle school was burdened for the many students who would go without free or reduced-price lunches. With job losses and children out of school the crisis got real quickly for many near his church. So they mobilized to work with a large community-based non-profit that already had infrastructure in place. The life blood of every non-profit are willing volunteers and donations. Here’s what to do:
- Search for the nearest food pantry.
- Contact them and find out what how you can help.
- Spread the word in your church, neighborhood and social circles.
- If you are healthy, go and serve, while observing appropriate social distancing.
Be part of the solution for families and children in crisis. Your church can be truly helpful in this time of crisis.
What are the baby steps of missional living? Loving your neighbors, right? It’s a great time and season to start with donating time and food to those in distress.
How is your church being missional? Let me know. I’d love to hear more good news.