5. Physical vs. Financial
Slide 5 of 5
In addition to ministering to spiritual and emotional needs, Christian leaders are challenged with also tending to the physical and financial needs of the congregation.
Once again, in these unprecedented times, there are millions of people experiencing extreme physical and financial hardship. Given the current social distancing restraints, pastors are not able to provide a healing touch for those experiencing physical pain. However, many families are lacking in food and proper nourishment. Clearly, pastors have always assisted in this area. What’s different is the magnitude of the number of people and the shortage of food and other necessary supplies.
Regarding the financial aspect, indeed, as Jesus said, “the poor will always be with you…” However, at no time in modern history have so many people lost their sole source of income so quickly. In spite of federal assistance, many are unable to make ends meet.
What’s the Christian leader to do? Especially when they themselves have seen a significant drop in weekly contributions. In fact, many are teetering on the edge of insolvency.
While there are no easy solutions, here are a few tips:
Ask for “inside” help. Send out a general plea to the entire congregation but also a private request for those of means. Seek out expertise to assist others in filing for unemployment, applying for the “Paycheck Protection Plan” (PPP), or accessing local social services. It’s amazing how many people are not aware of what’s already available to them in terms of support.
Ask for “outside” help. Enlist volunteers to contact local restaurants, retailers, etc. for contributions. Though many small businesses are also hurting, there are many willing to help others in need.
Virtual fundraisers. This can include raffles, silent auctions, food, and clothes drives, etc.
Yes, we’re all in this together. Christian leaders don’t have to carry the burden; even Jesus had help carrying His Cross.
When the two courses I teach switched to virtual, the message to my students was, “This is new to all of us. Please be patient with me as we go along. Even though I’m the professor, I need your help. Let me know what’s working, what’s not working and what I can do to improve.”
Likewise, Christian leaders, aka, “The Good Shepherds,” can humbly ask the same of their flock.
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