6 Things That Have Encouraged Me In This Discouraging Time

I told myself after I wrote 6 Ways To Love Your Neighbor During The Coronavirus Epidemic that I was done writing about COVID-19. It seemed like everything that needed to be said had been said. If not by me, then by the thousands of other blog posts encouraging, challenging, and calling Christians to action.

But then I came to a realization. 99% of what’s been said about the Coronavirus is negative (fear-based) or how to respond to some aspect of the epidemic. Now, some of that is needed. But I think it reached a saturation point awhile ago. 

So I want to write in the 1%. I want to write about the things that have encouraged me in a time that’s easy to be discouraged. This is about what’s encouraged me during this epidemic.

This is a pretty eclectic list. There’s a heavy emphasis on things in and around the church, but I certainly didn’t limit it to that. 

Let’s take a look, here’s what’s encouraged me during the coronavirus epidemic. And maybe you will be encouraged as well.

The Church Is Finally Catching Up On Technology

This is long overdue. The Church as a whole has been behind the curve for some time. Some churches have even downplayed the use of technology arguing it’s not “real” community, connection, or a service. But with no other option available almost every church is using technology to connect, worship, encourage, and grow their congregation. 

For the first time, the majority of churches see how technology can benefit their people. Digital community, connection, and services are not fake, they are a way the world connects now.

I’m not saying the in-person gathering is a thing of the past, something to be done away with. Gathering in person and worshiping on Sundays are important will come back once this passes. Technology cannot replace that. But it can complement it. 

Our world is increasingly becoming digital, but the church has been stubbornly analog. This crisis has forced many churches to embrace and utilize digital tools. And I think that will benefit the church for decades to come. 

Carey Nieuwhof wrote a great post about how COVID-19 is accelerating the future of the church: 5 Ways The Current Crisis Is Accelerating The Arrival Of The Future Church

Some Good News with John Krasinski

If you haven’t watched Some Good News, you need to.  

It’s so easy to focus on the negative and live in fear, especially in a time like this. We are drawn to the negative. Fear sells. But we shouldn’t live in fear. For most of us that means we should probably turn off the news and log off social media. They are just playing into your fears for their profit. Remember, fear sells. And when you keep tuning in they will keep peddling fear. Focus on some good for a change.

For more about fear check out: What The Bible Says About Fear (and how we can deal with it)

Even in the worst of situations, there’s good. You just have to search a little for it. It doesn’t come at you as the bad news has a way of doing. Focusing on the good can bring hope and encourage us. Some Good News is a place you can find a lot of it.

If you haven’t had a dose of good news, go get your fill. Even in the darkest moments, there’s something good happening. That’s the message of the Gospel, isn’t it? 

The Church Is Still Serving

It’s in the darkest moments that the Church shines the brightest. In the past month, I’ve seen Churches set up food banks, support emergency workers, offer creative ways to have fun at home, deliver groceries/supplies to the most vulnerable, set up financial relief funds, and so much more. 

Churches have been working overtime to serve those in their community. They’ve sacrificed their time, money, and put themselves at greater risk as they are the hands and feet of Jesus.

When everything got thrown up in the air and most normal church actives can no longer happen, churches switched gears to serve. I think for many churches it’s been a wake up call to the importance of loving their community. It’s encouraging to see the creative and loving ways the Church is serving. And hopefully this is a trend that continues. 

Even though we are in difficult times, the Church is still bringing the hope of God. 

People Finding Creative Ways To Connect

Almost overnight the way we connect with each other drastically changed. But that hasn’t stopped people from adapting so that they can still connect and support each other. 

From families/friends playing games over zoom to teachers driving through their student’s neighborhoods to say hello. People might have to stay at a distance, but nothing can keep them from connecting. The tenacity of the human spirit is so encouraging to me.

Eventually, this season will be over. But I hope we keep this kind of creativity of how we can connect alive.

The Church Is Becoming More Every Day Focused

Sundays are THE day for Churches. And most of their time is spent on planning and executing Sundays well. But this crisis has forced Churches to become more every day focused and not just Sunday focused.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Sundays. I can’t wait until we can once again meet on Sunday to gather and worship. Sundays should garner time and energy to make Sunday’s incredible. But the Church often ignores the other 6 days of the week in pursuit of the best Sunday they can pull off. 

Throughout this crisis I have seen more and more churches focus their ministry on everyday of the week and not just Sundays.

Again, I’m not against Sundays. But people need faith every day of the week. And it’s encouraging me to see the Church’s ministry expand to a more holistic approach.

The Memes 

Okay, maybe not “encouraging” but I have enjoyed reading some of the memes that people come up with. 

Here’s some of my favorites:

I hope you found some encouragement in this post!

I’d love to hear from you! What’s encourage you during the Coronavirus Epidemic.

Jeffery Curtis Poor
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