EDITOR’S NOTE: Ronnie Floyd is president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
NASHVILLE (BP) — As the pastor goes, so goes the church. As the church goes, so goes the nation.
Pastors have a divine calling upon their lives. In times like these, pastors can speak not only to their church, but to their community, their nation and even the world. Regardless of the size of the church he pastors, or whether he is full time or bivocational, God has called him, anointed him, and raised him up.
Therefore, consider these four ways a pastor can lead through this current crisis:
1. Lead by preaching the Bible.
— People do not expect you to be a medical expert on the coronavirus (COVID-19), nor did they come to hear you pontificate on political issues. People need a word from God in these uncertain times, so preach the Bible and provide hope to everyone.
— Preach with confidence and conviction, calling people to respond to God.
— Preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to the whole world. People need Jesus — and people need Jesus now.
2. Lead by leading with confidence.
— As a pastor, you are called by God, anointed by God, and raised up by God to lead in times like these. Lead wisely under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, shepherding the church and pleasing God, not people.
— Lead your church knowing and declaring God is Sovereign over all things. Keep the end in mind: Jesus wins. He alone is King of kings and Lord of lords. Not one circumstance threatens God from being God.
— Lead by setting the attitudinal thermostat in your church. You are not there to reflect the attitude of your church, but to set the attitude in your church. Therefore, lead with confidence.
3. Lead by praying like it matters.
— Place even greater priority on prayer in your worship services and online gatherings.
— Pray with confidence knowing that God cares for you and all the people in the world. Pray with authority knowing that God is our ultimate Healer of all disease and pain.
— Pray with your people and for your people.
— Pray for leaders in government, community, medicine, business and church as they work together toward a common solution.
4. Lead by working strategically through your greatest challenges.
— Strategize how you can increase your church’s online presence and proclaim the Gospel through live-streaming.
— Strategize how you can communicate with your people instantaneously and more effectively.
— Strategize how you can maintain financial support for your church’s mission and ministry, including an emphasis on online giving.
— Strategize how you can sharpen your church’s focus on the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, our ultimate priority of making disciples of all the nations.
Pastors, rise up in these uncertain times and lead God’s people triumphantly through this season. By God’s grace and for His glory, you can do it.
We are cheering you on.