Your Church & The Path Forward

How to Spread HOPE Faster Than COVID-19

“Now is not the time for the church to be on pause, it’s time for her to be on mission.” – Ed Stetzer

When thinking about mobilizing our people to meet needs at this time, we as church leaders should be thinking through our strengths, our weaknesses, and our opportunities. Start this process of giving hope with prayer for the mission and prayer for the people affected in your church and wider community. Consider the partnerships that exist in your communities, and then leverage what you have with open hands. 

In a few months, there’s going to be someone in every community across the country who is shut up in their home and feeling hopeless. There is pain, but then there is the plan. God is not shaken by this crisis and we need to be setting our minds on things above.

Fishes and loaves

In Luke 9:10-17, there is a crisis of need. In response, Jesus speaks to people about the kingdom. The instinctive response of the disciples was to send those in crisis away to get help from somewhere else. The disciples reaction came from a feeling of being overwhelming and we might be feeling that at moments too. However, Jesus says, “No, you give them something to eat.” As the church, we can’t just push people away to other solutions. We have the ultimate solution because we have hope, truth, and a promise.

When we only have fishes and loaves, we sometimes wonder what we can possibly do with the little we have. With the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus took what was in the disciples’ hands, blessed it, and handed it back to them to be distributed. Jesus puts provision in our hands that we can carry it to meet the needs of people. 

Mobilize your resources and people

Part of meeting needs is having a logistics process in place. Determine the supplies you need. Make that list public to your church and community. Schedule drop off times at your church. Think about what would bless and help people during their two weeks of isolation. Think in terms of spiritual, practical, physical, and emotional needs. 

Ensure the sanitation of items, either through disinfecting the surfaces or through the isolation method. At some point, you may also need to prioritize the needs of the exposed or infected or the vulnerable and at-risk populations as this crisis grows.

The church is meant to be fearless in pursuing mission. If we model that we are on mission and that the vision and mission hasn’t ended, there is still real life transformation and connection to be made in new and powerful ways. It’s not just about digital connection in this season. 

Question and Answer

What is the next step we can make in mobilizing our people to make a difference?

If our churches are going to be empty, let’s turn them into storehouses like Joseph did in Egypt and use those spaces. We’ve got to be openhanded at this time and do the kingdom work. 

For those communities and churches not yet experiencing the effect of the virus, we don’t want to be caught off guard. Chances are, there will be infection in your community at some point. All of our churches will eventually be affected in some way. To get ahead of that curve, jump on opportunities like Boxes of Hope now in order to serve your community in the future. Boxes of Hope could be the next step for your church to make a difference in your community as you look towards Easter. We can be leveraging the local church to make these things happen; the church is a distributive volunteer force uniquely suited for this work. 

At Boxes of Hope, what are you doing to ensure the sanitation of goods?

We used the isolation method to ensure the sanitation of the goods that go into our boxes. We have a collection/drop off area outside Evangel Church with big bins double lined with plastic. At the end of the day, we put on masks and gloves and take the donated good into designated classrooms. These are isolation rooms used for no other reason. We leave the items for four days and mark the door with a timestamp so that we know how long the items have been left. We have three classrooms—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rooms—and we rotate through them throughout the week. 

What is in the Boxes of Hope Church Playbook?

The isolation method, CDC guidelines for cleaning, processes for logistics and organizing, and resources for getting packing items such as boxes, etc. (or just grab any boxes you can get your hands on!). If there’s something not in the Playbook that you’re wondering about, ask us!

Partner with Boxes of Hope Today

Boxes of Hope is looking for church partners around the country to fill the local needs of those who are quarantined, self-isolated, or vulnerable. Click here for more information and click here to partner with Boxes of Hope. 

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.