The Ohio Valley District’s response to COVID-19
It is hard to believe the progression of concern with COVID-19 over the past few weeks. It seemed like we went from an awareness of a flu-like virus to Defcon 1. Peoples’ lives are being shaken to the core. For those who already suffer with anxiety and fear, it has become almost unbearable. What are we as Christ followers to do with this?
If there was a visible marking on those of us who are of God’s household, you would identify little Jesus’ interspersed among those who are fearful and struggling with what tomorrow could bring. Not only are they searching for answers, they have no hope for stability without a relational connection with Jesus Christ. In God’s genius, this has been His plan all along.
A Samaritan woman who ran into Jesus at a well explained to Him that Samaritans and Jews worshipped God in two different places. Jesus took that opportunity to explain the beautiful mystery that worship wasn’t going to be restricted to a place. The temple where God dwells is no longer in a physical structure, as if He would ever be contained to a structure. His Spirit intertwined in our life communicates His desire for a reconciled relationship with everyone where we have a connection. Therefore, the greatest impact of the Church is seen in her ability to navigate relationships with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. God birthed the Church with a decentralized nature. This is WHY we disciple and invest into those we lead. This should be the essence of why we gather so that we would take God’s Mission of reconciliation seriously and with great intent.
Our people are God’s ambassadors and need to be discipled and equipped into maturity and unity. Our people need to have relational discipling to know what it means to live connected to the Vine and operating with His priorities. As leaders let us capitalize on this time of uncertainty and motivate our people to continually ask for a filling of the Holy Spirit. Let us make disciples who are multiplying as they are making disciples who are making disciples. Let us saturate places marked with fear with people of hope and stability that look an awful lot like Jesus.
Obviously, the restrictions on how many gather in a place will greatly impact HOW we make disciples. We may be forced to make disciples at a more organic and relational level. This has the potential of changing some of our strategies when it comes to discipling and equipping our people. We shouldn’t fear this change but grasp the reality that God is equipping and mobilizing His people.
As leaders, I’ve seen you imitate Jesus in considering other peoples’ interest above your own. This has created a beautiful culture. So how are churches going to relate to one another? I am already seeing churches rallying behind the thought of pouring out resource. Could God be birthing a deeper expression of what He wants a family of churches to look like when they take on His Mission based on humility and generosity instead of competition and territorialism?
As a district office, we want to serve and facilitate what God is already doing relationally in our district. That’s why we want to hear of the struggles, questions and obstacles so we can address them as a family on Mission. Because, most certainly, we are better together.
Due to the spread of COVID-19 the Ohio Valley District Conference 2020 coming up in April, will be changed to a one day online conference on Monday, April 20th. Click Here for details.
Below are links to Ohio & Kentucky State responses that include specific ways for each state on how to respond, how to prevent & prepare, a checklist & frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19. There are also Governor responses on these websites that are updated frequently.
For further Alliance resources concerning COVID-19 click here.