First, I urge you not to dismiss this virus as a hoax or treat it as a cold or no less dangerous as the flu. The danger of this virus is the GROWTH RATE it has and everything will seem fine until it isn’t. Be a wise leader and exercise sensible caution and preparations for protecting the flock and your community.
Second, we can still minister to our flocks in a variety of ways. The first-century Christians met daily, house to house in small groups. If you are limited to groups of 50, spread out across your campus or split up the congregation alphabetically for smaller group meetings. My favorite is DRIVE-IN Church. Have church in the parking lot and stay in your cars. Get a .1 or .5 watt FM transmitter and remain FCC compliant. Remember, the government has not banned, prayer, preaching, counseling, worship, tithing. We just have to be creative to minister.
Third, bucking the government and being the rebel is not only a violation of Romans 13:1-2 and I Peter 2:13-18. It sends the wrong message to the lost in our community. Instead of seeing you as someone helping the community, they see you as one harming the community. In Floyd County Georgia. A pastor rebelling against the orders of the Governor continued as normal. Many in his congregation tested positive to the virus and they buried a 65-year-old member who contracted it at his church. Would you like to be in his shoes? I think not!
Fourth, this crisis presents an opportunity. This virus began in Wuhan, China. The Chinese use two characters to make up the word ‘Crisis’. The first is the character for danger, the second is the character for opportunity. A pastor friend told me that their Walmart is sold out of Bibles, just like the meat and toilet paper. When people are out of work and have time to think. This, along with the growing death rate, causes people to think about their own mortality. This is a great time to be sharing the gospel because people are more receptive than before.