7 Ways Your Church Can Serve Your Community During the Coronavirus Crisis

The following is a statement from the Indiana Family Institute

Dear Friends,

We are praying for you, your families and your churches during this crisis!

Many churches are still navigating service cancellations due to government restrictions, discipleship efforts due to quarantine and ministry to vulnerable members in the midst of a pandemic. And, I agree that those efforts should be first priority (Matthew 28:16-20; Galatians 6:10).

However, if this crisis stretches into the next few weeks and even months (I pray that does not happen), the economic fallout could and probably will be severe. And, the church should be prepared to meet community as well as church needs (Matthew 5:16). Over the last few days, I have spoken to or heard from government officials, church leaders and other community organizations about community needs and how the church can meet them; and I have compiled a list from those interactions. Here are seven ways your church can serve your community during this time:

  1. Contact, Pray for and Assist Local Officials. Reach out to your mayor, local health officials and school officials to (1) tell them you are praying for them and (2) ask them how you can help. These officials may tell you that all needs are currently being met. But, if this crisis drags on, the need will intensify and your help will be needed.
  2. Call People and Deliver Care Kits. In a recent podcast episode, Jay Height from the Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis shared with me that some elderly individuals go months without human interaction. This is a tragedy at any point, but it is especially problematic now. Why not put a team together to call shut-ins, other church members and even names in the phone book to offer prayer and help? When you identify a need (especially for an elderly individual), offer to deliver food or other essential items while observing CDC procedures.
  3. Assist Public Schools. Last week, a legislator shared with me that 30% of the students in one of the school districts in his area are on the free and reduced lunch program. In other words, these students rely on their school for daily nutrition. Public schools are scrambling to find ways to safely continue these food services, so ask if your church can assist in some way.
  4. Offer Space. Many churches lack other resources, but space is not one of them. I heard from one pastor that is assisting a local school by allowing the school to use the church parking lot to distribute food to students. And, this pastor also offered space for an emergency medical facility if the local hospital is overwhelmed.
  5. Provide Child Care. As I am sure you are well aware, schools are closed; and, that means that many parents are scrambling to figure out child care. This is, of course, especially important for workers in the health, safety, and essential service fields during this pandemic. Some churches with existing preschools are expanding their services to meet these needs and others are exploring the launch of such a ministry (you will, of course, need to work with local officials to comply with regulations). By the way, Indiana is already facing a child care shortage; so, perhaps this could be a long-term rather than a short-term strategy for meeting community needs.
  6. Donate Funds or Food to a Food Bank, The Salvation Army or a similar organization. Because kids are out of school and because many workers in the food service, travel and hospitality industries are either being laid off or having their hours cut, food and essentials such as toilet paper are in high demand. So, organize a fundraiser or food drive for a local food bank or similar organization. Make sure you communicate with the food bank or ministry beforehand to ensure compliance with CDC recommendations and to determine which items are most needed.
  7. Provide Resources to Those Experiencing Job Loss or Reduced Hours. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has announced measures to assist individuals that have been laid off or have had their hours cut due to the pandemic. Point individuals to the designated website so they can sign up for these resources. Also, some churches are specifically raising funds for and distributing assistance to individuals in hard-hit industries.

From the early church to the Ebola outbreak, the church has responded to plague and disease with love, hope and help. Now, it’s our turn.

I hope these ideas help you and your church as you serve your community!

Also, we are in contact with government officials (including the governor’s office) and other ministries, and are working with them to coordinate response efforts. We would love to know what you and your church are doing so we can compare and contrast best practices and let government officials know about the church’s efforts to combat this pandemic and serve people in need.

Will you take a moment and fill out this brief survey so we know how you are serving your community and how we can best coordinate with government officials and equip the church in Indiana?  

I’ll close with this quote by George Whitefield, which has been on mind lately, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.” Let’s go be the church

Sincerely,

Ryan McCann
Executive Director, IFI 


For more information about the Indiana Family Association, visit Facebook or their website

Meet Curtis Hill, Indiana Attorney General Candidate

“It’s the attorney general’s responsibility to preserve and protect and defend the Constitution, and preserve and protect and defend the people of this state. We will fight federal overreach at every level. I want Indiana to be the pinnacle of what America is about, and I’ll work hard to protect that.” — Curtis Hill

Meet Curtis Hill in person at the Howard County Republican Party Elephant Stampede, Tuesday, October 25. Doors open at 5:30PM at the Elite Banquet & Conference Center (2820 S. Lafountain St., Kokomo, IN). The cost is $25, and dress is casual.

RSVP as soon as possible to Craig Dunn by calling (765) 457-1134 or emailing chairman(at)howardcountyrepublicans.org.

Learn more about Curtis Hill, the man and his mission, at www.curtishillforindiana.com.

Abby Johnson in Indiana

Abby Johnson, an ardent prolife advocate who God delivered from the abortion industry, will be speaking on Wednesday, August 24th at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church (17201 Springmill Rd. Westfield, IN).

Abby will share about her experiences as the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion center, the events that changed her life, and her conversion to a prolife activist. All are welcome to come at 6PM for an hors d’oeuvre reception in the parish hall. The program will begin at 7PM in the church.

There is no charge for admission, but your donation will benefit Great Lakes Gabriel ProjectFor more information on Abby, visit abbyjohnson.org. For event details, visit the church website or call Dave Bangs at (765) 860-6006.

From Abby’s website:

Abby Johnson has always had a fierce determination to help women in need. It was this desire that both led Abby to a career with Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, and caused her to flee the organization and become an outspoken advocate for the pro-life movement. During her eight years with Planned Parenthood, Abby quickly rose in the organization’s ranks and became a clinic director. She was increasingly disturbed by what she witnessed. Abortion was a product Planned Parenthood was selling, not an unfortunate necessity that they fought to decrease. Still, Abby loved the women that entered her clinic and her fellow workers. Despite a growing unrest within her, she stayed on and strove to serve women in crisis.

All of that changed on September 26, 2009 when Abby was asked to assist with an ultrasound-guided abortion.

She watched in horror as a 13 week baby fought, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist.

At that moment, the full realization of what abortion was and what she had dedicated her life to washed over Abby and a dramatic transformation took place. Desperate and confused, Abby sought help from a local pro-life group. She swore that she would begin to advocate for life in the womb and expose abortion for what it truly is.

Planned Parenthood did not take Abby’s exodus sitting down. They are fully aware that the workers who leave are their greatest threat. Instantly, they took action to silence Abby with a gag order and took her to court. The lawsuit was quickly seen as the sham it was and thrown out of court.

The media was, and continues to be, intensely interested in Abby’s story as well as her continued efforts to advocate for the unborn and help clinic workers escape the abortion industry. She is a frequently requested guest on Fox News and a variety of other shows and the author of the nationally best-selling book, Unplanned, which chronicles both her experiences within Planned Parenthood and her dramatic exit.

Today, Abby travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a ministry designed to assist abortion clinic workers out of the industry. To date, this ministry has helped over 150 workers leave the abortion industry. Abby lives in Texas with her husband and five precious children.

Learn more on Abby’s website and in her book Unplanned!