A Bookkeeper’s Perspective on Church Planting During Covid-19
Let’s celebrate how the Lord is working through our churches everyday as we walk through an unprecedented time in our country! The COVID crisis is highly stressful for our church leaders overall – especially as they make financial decisions and have to re-visit budget numbers and plan for uncertain months ahead. You would think that these uncertain times would cause a pastor to put the brakes on their plans in many ways. You may expect them to push back spending plans, pull back on offerings of bible studies or small groups, etc. Instead, I have found that the pastors that I have the privilege of working with have stepped into the unknown with a real sense of purpose.
A pastor in Tennessee (Jeremy Brown with Journey Church) is such a teacher at heart. He is always trying to pass along knowledge to those around him. He took the experience of walking through the application process for the Paycheck Protection Funds Program and used it for the good of other churches. He reached out to other pastors around him in order to help them with hints/details/ideas to help them move forward quickly in order to get their applications in as well. He leads his members and all those around him with an open hand approach – sharing an encouraging word or with his experience and wisdom.
A pastor in Baltimore, Maryland (Andy McNeely with Front Porch Church) has a heart for serving his community well. Folks are eager to learn more about Jesus right now. They are anxious and want the HOPE that they see in him. So – he has expanded the number of folks that he is discipling, and the church has passed out meals in the neighborhoods each night. They are also offering a “prayer room” via zoom a couple of times per week so that they can pray with and encourage those in the community.
A pastor in California (Daniel Atondo with Eden Church) is doing their best to reach out and help the community around them. They are hard at work – making and serving meals for the homeless, running errands and making grocery store trips for those who are the most vulnerable, and connecting with those in the church who can help by sewing and donating much needed face masks. Eden wants everyone within their reach to feel valued and cared for.
One final example of how the churches that I serve are moving forward boldly thru the COVID crisis is a church in North Carolina (Justin Wallace with One Life Church). Through God’s provision, they had just opened up a Blessing Box right before COVID kicked into high gear. Non-perishable food and toiletry items are available for those who need them. This church is also using this time to move their small groups onto an online format, and they have seen the church attendance rise! When they start to meet in person again, members will be greeted with a new lobby floor and a revamped kitchenette that will be used each week. The Pastor said he will not just sit back, huddle and keep to themselves during this time – instead they will speak boldly about how Jesus will walk beside us through the uncertainty.
All across the country we are seeing how the Lord is using the leaders that He has put into place. They are stepping up to the challenge and leading their members well. Instead of huddling in fear, they are leaning hard into their relationship with the Lord and leading the way for their friends, family, and church members to do the same. Great job!
Kelly is a Project Bookkeeper for Stadia, working with churches all across the country. She lives in Ohio and attends RiverTree Lake – one of 6 separate campuses of RiverTree churches in the NE Ohio area – where she loves connecting with and encouraging other women. Kelly and her husband, John, have 4 kids who range in age from elementary through adult. She loves watching cooking and home improvement shows and spends a lot of time in her kitchen!