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Barbara Haughan of the Movilla Abbey Church catering team helps put together dinners for the vulnerable as part of the Ards Churches Response in Northern Ireland.

National Christian Foundation shares 19 ways to help churches during pandemic

Just like individuals and businesses, many churches are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The National Christian Foundation asked pastors and church leaders from across the country how members can help and developed a list of 19 practical ideas to help churches during these trying times.

READ: Two Christian leaders disagree with John MacArthur position on church reopening


  1. Remember the Sabbath:According to a recent study, almost a third of churchgoers have dropped out during the pandemic. If you’re growing weary of virtual Sunday mornings alone, organize a watch party on Zoom to stream your worship service with friends and chat as you go along.
  2. Put your giving on autopilot:Without the offering plate, it’s easy to forget to mail or go online for your church giving. Use your giving fund at NCF to set up recurring grants for your regular commitments to your church.
  3. Volunteer your skills:Do you have accounting or business skills? Ask if you can help your church cut expenses. Are you good at administration? See if you can fill in when they are short-staffed. Handy with social media? Volunteer to make regular posts.
  4. Stay connected: Encourage your small group or Sunday School class to keep meeting virtually or outdoors, following safety guidelines. Create a contact list and reach out by phone, email and text every week to stay in touch and pray for each other.
  5. Encourage generosity:During times of crisis such as the pandemic, church giving undoubtedly is affected, even as needs grow. Now is a crucial time to engage friends from church in deeper generosity.
  6. Invite new people to virtual church:Reach out by phone or text to some people you know who aren’t attending church anywhere, not even online. Ask them if they’d like to watch a service with you, and make sure they have the times and links to watch. Then follow-up afterward to talk about the service.
  7. Invest in tech:Does your church need an investment in technical equipment and training to serve your congregation virtually? Contact your pastor to see if you can contribute financially or offer to invest your time if you have technical skills.
  8. Try something new: If you’ve never done a virtual Bible study before, now’s your opportunity. Use a tool like the YouVersionBible app to keep your friends from church connected and in the word. Invite them and others to do a study online and learn together each week.
  9. Coordinate a communication plan:Does your church have a structure in place to ensure people are connected to a group that will care for each other’s needs? If not, call your church leaders to ask if you can help assign each member a list of people to regularly contact so no one feels isolated.
  10. Remember the lonely:Don’t forget to check on people in your congregation who live on their own, whether they are elderly or young single members. Stop by their home for a chat from a safe distance outside or send a handwritten card.
  11. Donate your tablet: In some churches, pastors are asking for people to donate iPads, iPhones or tablets to help others go online to attend worship services virtually. Consider donating or buying a tablet for someone who doesn’t have a device.
  12. Keep the peace:As many pastors are working extra hard to keep their congregations facing forward with a plan, they report being caught in the crossfire of their leaders and congregants who disagree about social and political issues. Consider how you can meditate, pray and sow peace within yourself and among your church family.
  13. Look outward:Talk with church leaders about how you and other members can partner with local ministries that may be overwhelmed. Serving the hurting together can bring new purpose to your church.
  14. Care for other churches:While your church may be facing its own challenges during the pandemic, there probably are other churches in your area that are facing even greater struggles. Help your church find out about other local churches that are hardest hit and reach out to see how you can help.
  15. Invest in your benevolence ministry: With so many people struggling or unemployed, your benevolence ministry most likely is overwhelmed with needs. Reach out to see if you can help your pastor in charge of benevolence with your community contacts, resources or volunteer time.
  16. Support your worship team:Contact your worship leaders to see what they need to thrive remotely. Ask them to build a special Spotify playlist of worship songs that you and others can share on social media or other ways you can share their gifts.
  17. Give to the international church:There are brothers and sisters struggling in areas around the world who are watching the progress that has been made to eliminate poverty over the past 30 years quickly unravel. An investment in their churches can help fight the crisis abroad.
  18. Pray for revival: Revivals and awakenings in the past have almost always occurred during times of great disruption and social upheaval. Everyone in the body of Christ can participate in praying for revival. Pray and remember that the Lord is working all things together for good.
  19. Shift your mindset:It’s helpful to remember that the church is who we are, not just a place we go. In this unfamiliar season, pray about how we can all shift our thinking from church-consumers to church-givers who serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us.