SOUTH LYON, MI – The pastors reading this article know very well that the comforts of familiarity are no longer an option in the age of COVID-19. This wasn’t an elective in Seminary that one could choose to study. Instead, this is an opportunity for pastors and God’s many local bodies to assist and encourage one another.
Our church, First Baptist Church South Lyon, decided early on to suspend all services. Since suspending all corporate gatherings, we have implemented various digital options for discipleship. We have provided the weekly sermon with notes on our website and Facebook page. We have mobilized our Bible study leaders. They are contacting their groups daily and meeting with them through digital means. Many have resorted to Zoom and/or Facetime. We have some without the internet, so we have been mailing them transcripts of the sermons and calling them to discuss the Bible study each week. The pastoral staff has made an effort to contact each member at least once a week by phone, email or written letter.
Some of the ministry in the church that we have experimented with include offering to all members over 60 years of age the option of grocery shopping and pharmacy runs. We have now expanded that option to all homebound, widows, widowers and single mothers. Now that families are home with no extracurricular activities, we have seen this as a great opportunity to encourage family worship and discipleship. We have started a daily Family Worship video with a study guide. The study guide includes songs, a sample prayer, a text with a short commentary and points to consider and questions to pose to kids. This has been very well received in our community. We are noticing a number of families with no affiliation with our church commenting that they are now worshipping together and using the materials provided by us.
One thing that we are doing in our community is feeding those who are in need. We have a local food pantry called Active Faith. Our church supports them financially and with manpower. We have joined efforts with Active Faith to provide groceries for an entire week to anyone who requests it. We have this ministry open three days a week. Our church has approached three senior retirement communities in South Lyon and offered to deliver groceries to them. Many who are taking advantage of this ministry have also requested Bibles and prayers. So, the Lord is opening many avenues for ministry in this difficult time.
I understand the pressures that have come with this pandemic. And like many of you, it grieves me deeply not to be able to worship corporately with the local body that God has placed me within. However, He has empowered us and equipped us to continue regardless of the uncertainty that lies ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Meaux is Lead Pastor of FBC South Lyon. He recently moved to Michigan from Mobile, Alabama where he served as Pastor and many other ministry positions over the years. He is married to Aimee and they share three children.