By Craig Thompson
The coronavirus pandemic clogs all of our news outlets and consumes our thoughts.
As pastors, COVID-19 has affected nearly everything we do, which includes the ways we minister. However, not everything about these days has to be negative.
My family has decided to make it our goal to grow stronger during these times. I encourage you, pastors, to adopt the same theme during the weeks ahead.
Consider strengthening yourself in the following ways:
1. Grow stronger in your Bible intake.
Much of your ministry is indeed taking more time than it used to, but you also have fewer interruptions today than you did two months ago. Most have fewer sermons and Bible studies to prepare.
Spend extra time reading your Bible to grow stronger in Bible intake.
2. Grow stronger in your family commitment.
Because everything has shut down, my family has extra time to spend together. We miss baseball games and dance recitals, but we’re gaining extra time to ride bikes, take walks, and read books together.
Don’t miss the privilege this crisis gives you to spend extra time with your family.
3. Grow stronger in your prayer life.
Crises have a way of reminding us of the need to pray. But, this time of distancing also keeps us as pastors away from the bedsides of our church members when they’re sick.
Spend extra time in prayer during these days as you cry to the Lord to heal your church members and deliver our world from this pandemic.
4. Grow stronger in your preaching.
As a result of so many live-streamed services and pre-recorded Bible studies, I’m gravely aware of just how many times I say “umm” during my sermons. It’s embarrassing.
Still, I’m confident my preaching is going to improve because I’m having to watch myself preach multiple times per week.
5. Grow stronger physically.
I’ve committed to coming out of this time of shutdown in better physical condition than I went into it.
This takes effort because we’re cooking lots of good food in our house these days, but we also have time to go for walks and runs. We have even put together a garage gym for lifting weights and indoor exercise.
Coronavirus is going to change all of us in many different ways. You can make sure some of the changes in your own life are positive.
Much about this time of distancing is hard, and much about these days is scary. But, you don’t have to give up. Make time to get stronger. You won’t regret it.
CRAIG THOMPSON (@craig_thompson) is the husband of Angela, father of four, and senior pastor of Malvern Hill Baptist Church in Camden, South Carolina.