DURAND, MI – Michigan Baptist churches have experienced the Covid-19 shutdown in many similar ways and in many different ways. John Nyhof is the pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Durand. He and his wife Sandy have served there for the past 6 years. Every church has suffered financially from the shutdown, but in John’s case, he is a bi-vocational pastor who also worked in a local machine job. John has been laid off from that job at least until the lockdown is over.
The Nyhofs have two children still living at home, as well as four other adult children who are out on their own. John says he has avoided the stress by taking advantage of the additional time with his family, and by focusing on the Lord. Pastor Nyhof’s family has been challenged on a very personal level. He has had to delay the memorial service after his mom passed away, and one of his daughters has had to postpone her wedding. As a pastor, he was unable to go comfort a member who had lost his wife. John says, “I am well aware of the crisis, but I choose not to dwell on it.”
John has allowed other pastors to minister to him. He listens to David Jeremiah and John MacArthur, and in his quiet time he has been focusing on the book of Ephesians.
Faith Baptist has learned a lot about their ministry through the crisis. They are streaming their services on the church Facebook page, and they hosted Bible study and prayer time using Zoom. The church has been surprised at the response they are getting from the streamed services. There are many people tuning in who never once stepped into the building for church. Nyhof says streaming is something they will continue to do once they are able to meet together again, and they hope that these digital visitors will become live visitors when they reopen. Church members are doing a great job of staying in touch through cards, phone calls and social media.
Faith Baptist and their pastor are looking forward instead of backward. Nyhof asks for prayer, “That the Lord will continue to lead now, and guide us once the restrictions are lifted.”