As the coronavirus spreads in the U.S., congregations are facing a situation many have never considered.
In response, the LifeWay Leadership team has developed pandemic response resources that are being made available for free to assist pastors and church leaders at MinistryGrid.com/coronavirus.
“Pastors are asking questions about how their churches should react to the coronavirus,” said Todd Adkins, director of LifeWay Leadership. “We wanted to provide them with training videos and checklists that are immediately applicable for their congregations.”
Adkins maintains churches should have a response plan that can be implemented for more rare instances like the coronavirus, but also situations like a severe, local outbreak of the flu.
“When you have a response plan in place, you can effectively communicate and serve your church during a pandemic,” said Adkins. “Doing so shows preparedness, not panic.”
The free training course “How to Prepare for the Coronavirus at Your Church” walks leaders through developing a plan, phases of implementation, attendance metrics that should be monitored, how to alter regular ministry practices, and more.
The available documents include a sample pandemic response policy, suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and checklists for guest services and kids ministry.
Participants can view four specific videos: “How to Create a Pandemic Response Plan for Your Church,” “Three Phases of a Pandemic Response Plan,” “Your Church’s Leadership Pipeline in a Pandemic Response Plan,” and “Pandemic Planning Considerations.”
“Responses should be contextualized to individual churches and their communities,” said Adkins. Churches should start by forming a task force consisting of church staff and key ministry leaders, as well as licensed safety and medical personnel such as police officers, first responders and nurses, he said.
— Aaron Earls is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.