Letter to Pastors and Church Leaders – March 20, 2020
Dear Pastors and Church Leaders:
I’m sure you are being inundated with communication from every perspective possible just like I am, related to COVID-19. I’ll do my best to keep this short and not repeat what everyone else is saying!
First, I want you to know that as a church family, we will get through this. God is in control. This will test our faith, but I’m praying we will pass the test and hear “well done, good and faithful steward.” Here are a few suggestions as you navigate this unchartered territory:
- I encourage you to take every opportunity to create “connections” with your congregation, even while you are so “disconnected” due to not being able to gather corporately. Some ideas include:
- Send bulletins or newsletters to congregants. Or just a letter. Include an offering envelope. Take the opportunity to share announcements, prayer concerns, offer encouragement, relay the ministry that is continuing through the church, offer a testimonial, etc.
- Have small groups video conference together for prayer or Bible study.
- Organize volunteers to call shut-ins and those who are especially alone.
- Since churches aren't physically meeting together to receive an offering, make every opportunity to:
- Remind the congregation that “giving is a vital expression of our worship” so let's keep worshipping!
- Remind them that our churches are formed for such times as this. Ministry continues at an ever-increasing rate during times of crisis. Generous gifts are more important than ever to keep ministry going.
- We encourage you to look for every opportunity to pare down costs on nonessential items. Much of this will happen automatically as the church slows down in activity. Unfortunately, most expenses are fixed.
- Contact us if you need to withdraw funds from your Advantage or Term Certificate. Early redemption penalties on Term Certificates will be waived for our nonprofit clients until we are able to resume worship gatherings.
- If you don’t have an online giving option, we can help! Follow these steps and we can get you set up quickly and easily at no cost to you.
- Fill out a short application.
- We will set up a church account called a Charity Advised Fund.
- We will send you a link to your giving page (view a sample here).
- You can add the link to your website and/or distribute the link to your congregation.
- You will be able to monitor the donations online and request funds as needed.
We are also affected by this unprecedented situation. Please pray for us as we will also be praying for you. God will see us through. Be strong and courageous!
Jon C. Wiebe
President & CEO