This post is capturing how the Eastern District of the EFCA responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. This blog is going to document and then do some writing about how the EFCA is responding to the COVID-19 situation. As a reminder the Eastern District is led by Cedrick Brown and Tony Balsamo.
“Medicine heals doubts as well as diseases.”
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12 NIV
Cedrick Brown of the EFCA’s Eastern District
In writing about the EFCA this is a brief post to capture and preserve how the EFCA’s Eastern District responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and what it communicated to its churches in an email on March 17, 2020. In the course of time I would like to do a post analyzing the leadership styles of different EFCA District leadership as the medical crisis unfolded.
Dear EDA Move Family,
In God’s sovereign plan, He has permitted an unsettling disease to create unprecedented dilemmas for all of us as we seek to lead our local churches in the midst of confusion, fear and uncertainty. Our communities don’t know what to do. As responsible leaders, we need wisdom, guidance and support to make the best decisions we can. However, from God’s perspective, this is nothing short of a great opportunity to be the church, help our people and our communities, bring glory to Him, and build His kingdom.
As your district staff, we want to do all we can to support you in the ways you most need during this challenging time. We realize there is an overwhelming amount of information available, some of it helpful, and some of it not. Many of you are multi-staff and can process the seemingly daily issues internally. Others feel like it’s all up to you. Whatever your situation, we want to come alongside you as leaders on the same team, striving for the same purpose and mission.
Fortunately, the EFCA National office has provided great information resources: EFCA Special Covid-19 Update. We affirm their advice as well: “Due to elevated warnings by the Center for Disease Control, we encourage EFCA churches to review the CDC’s guidelines for faith-based organizations. Please follow the guidance of local and state governments as they respond to needs in your community.” We feel it is important and appropriate to follow the advice of local and state authorities who are better informed than we are of how to best mitigate the health risks.
In addition, “EFCA churches should intentionally plan and prepare for potential disruptions to normal ministry functions. This is a good practice, in any season, to ensure the health and perseverance of our churches.”
Effective Godly leadership in a crisis includes a realistic assessment of the situation, and an appropriate response that protects our people and communities from unnecessary risk. It also includes a measure of calm and reassurance of hope that, together and with God’s help, we will get through this.
Many of our churches cancelled on-site services on March 15 and are evaluating what to do henceforward, especially in light of the CDC’s most recent guidance. Instead of the normal Sunday gathering, they offered some form of live or recorded streaming of their service(s). Some are cancelling mid-week activities, at least for several weeks, including small group meetings. Most of our churches are continuing to keep their offices open and functioning, though some with reduced hours. They are also exploring creative ways to leverage technology to encourage communication and “touch” despite “physical distancing.”
Josh Ott, our Strategy Specialist, will be offering a Zoom call to address how you can stream your services, promote online giving, and leverage social media to enhance communication in your body while it may be dispersed. This is especially for those who have never done this kind of thing before.
You can join Josh TONIGHT, TUESDAY MARCH 17TH AT 8:30p on Zoom by using this link:
In the days ahead, we anticipate offering another Zoom call where we can learn from each other by sharing what we have done to bring peace and hope, while effectively ministering in the midst of the current trauma. Stay tuned for future announcements on that!
Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can love and care for you during this time.