English Ministry Supporting Families During COVID-19
News began to circulate in late January 2020 about a novel coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China. In February, while the full picture remained unclear, it became increasingly evident that the virus, and the disease it causes, now designated COVID-19, would have global impact. Starting the week of March 9, our English ministry team began meeting to discuss the coming reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. With talk of quarantines and stay-at-home orders in the air, we knew our audiences would be in desperate need of God’s Word, his comfort, and resources to help them navigate this season. Our program producers and marketing team recognized the unique need for our wide array of wide array of free resources to support individuals and families facing isolation, job loss, boredom, and the fear and anxiety of the unexpected crisis.
With stay-at-home orders going into effect, churches needed quick solutions for delivering ministry to congregations and communities online. Many churches turned to Church Juice. Producer Bryan Haley immediately began releasing multiple articles per week to support churches in the transition from in-person to remote worship and community support (churchjuice.com/covid19). During daily, 2pm ET, COVID-19 video calls, Bryan has connected with over 120 churches all over North America providing expertise, resources, consultation, and prayer. One communicator from Indiana said, “I’ve always known I needed to find community with other church communicators, but this crisis has just made that even more urgent. I’m so thankful to have a tribe to finally belong to!”
Family Fire and Kids Corner published a joint article titled “Talking to Your Kids about Coronavirus.” Since that first article, both programs have published weekly or even bi-weekly content addressing fear, isolation, stress, worry, and even boredom related to COVID-19 issues. A CRCNA pastor thanked us and let us know: “We’re going to rely pretty heavily on Kids Corner to send out to our members for kids faith formation over the next handful of weeks..."
On Groundwork, we’ve published a number of blog posts, including “Is God in COVID-19?” by host Scott Hoezee. We’ve also launched a four-episode “Words of Comfort” Groundwork campaign, which provides biblical answers to the common questions we raise during crises.
Think Christian dedicated an entire podcast episode to the subject of “Contagious Comfort” and how "at home" performances during COVID-19 model the communal assurance Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.
Today continues to provide a much needed source of routine and spiritual grounding for hundreds of thousands of readers during this crisis. An ebook first published in 2018, called Our Only Comfort: A Devotional Series for Hard Times, has resonated anew with readers seeking hope in God’s Word. And we have also been supplementing our devotional content with multiple blog posts on topics like "Finding Comfort in Scripture in Times of Uncertainty" or "Ministry Between Sundays with Today."
At Back to God Ministries International, we’re thankful that God has positioned us to offer blessing and encouragement in this time of crisis. In the weeks ahead, as the pandemic continues to unfold, our content producers will continue to cultivate resources to uplift and comfort readers and listeners as they deal with uncertainty, and even, tragedy.