Staying Ahead of the Covid-19 Outbreak

We're all watching, mouths agape, the extraordinary reaction to the Covid-19 outbreak. The NBA just suspended its season as did the NHL (now that hurts!) The governor of Kentucky asked churches to suspend worship services this Sunday. Will Canadian provinces do the same? We don't know. Alberta has suspended any gatherings with attendance over 250, excluding places of worship (for the moment). At this point the risk level in Canada is Low but the government response is aggressive. We all wonder what churches should do. Here's help:

Monitor the national and provincial bulletins (BCABSKMBON and herePQNBNSPE and NL). They'll give directives about suspension of church services.

Check out this excellent, detailed post by Tithe.ly for churches to stay ahead of any outbreak in their community. Tithe.ly gives comprehensive instructions for hosting a Virtual Worship service and an In-Person Church service. The ten areas covered:

The Virtual Worship Service
1. How to host Sunday worship
2. How to Facilitate Church Community
3. How to Continue Small Groups
4. How to Take the Offering

The In-Person Church Service
5. How to Greet People with Cautious Care
6. How to Serve Communion
7. How to Prompt the Passing of the Peace
8. How to Coordinate Church Volunteers
9. How to Handle Children’s Ministry
10. How to Successfully Communicate Important Information

In addition, Tithe.ly has 13 guidelines from the CDC (the US-based Centre for Disease Control) for churches facing the Covid-19 situation. Again, excellent.

Streams of Life, Singapore began training churches to live-stream worship services and small groups. They have lots of helpful info, if you want to poke around.

Need an overview of Covid-19? Here's one from Miguel Núñez. an infectious disease expert and also a pastor.

Let's pray, prepare and seek ways to serve. In a 2013 article about Ebola, Eric Metaxas urged Christians to "Run toward the Plague" The early Christians did during the the Plague of Cyprian (circa 250-270 AD). Although they were blamed for the pandemic and persecuted, Christians served their communities, and the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ increased. Let's imitate them.

Paul Johnson
CNBC Team Leader, Church Strengthening
pjohnson@cnbc.ca
403.816.6981