A VIDEO MESSAGE FROM TODD (March 19, 2020)

 

LINKS

SBC Call to Prayer

Corona Virus and the Church
Ministry Grid Training 
Guidestone Resource Guide
Lifeway Digital Curriculum (FREE)
SundayMAG Response Resources
Union Association (Houston) Resource Articles (Includes Spanish)
KY COVID-19 PAGE
The Lancet
World Health Organization - General COVID-19 page
World Health Organization - Myth Busters
World o Meter Coronavirus Counts
Local COVID-19 Case Tracking
CDC Community and Faith Based Orgs Guidelines
John's HopkinsCase Dashboard
Worship Leader Resource Articles

 

TOOLS FOR ONLINE DELIVERY

KBC Facebook Live How-tos
Darryl Wilson on Meeting online
How to Lead an Online Prayer Meeting
Zoom Video Conferencing
Digital Discipleship (Helps from Group.com) 

 

RELIEF / STIMULUS FUNDS INFORMATION

CARES Act (Senate Bill 3548)
Church Law & Tax (Richard Hammer) CARES Act Review
Baptist Press Q & A on Federal Relief Stimuls
Vanderbloemen Resources on CARE Act
Russell Moore: Church and the CARES Act
BP Article: CARES Act concerns resolved
Paycheck Protection Program Application
What the Personal Stimulus Plan Means for You (Dave Ramsey) 

 

ONLINE AND ALTERNATIVE GIVING OPTIONS FOR CHURCHES 

Your church's present church software company for database management may have options for giving online or by text to give; however, if you are looking for a quick option, please review some of the methods listed below and be sure to link it or mention it on your website, saved videos, or live stream feeds.

 

PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS

The Church Connecting in an Age of Social Distancing [Video]
Prayerwalking Guide (Document)
Coronavirus Response: Praying through the crisis (IMB)
Neighbor Needs Survey (Document)
Neighbor Needs Suvey with Logo (Document - Your logo can be added to the form)
Metro Louisville March for Meals Volunteer Sign-up
Prayer Map for Partner Churches (Link to Google Map)

 

 

 

UPDATES FROM TODD

STATEMENT ON COVID-19

March 11, 2020

Today, as many of you are now aware, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky issued a recommendation for churches to suspend services this coming weekend in light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It was unclear from this statement if this is a recommendation for this week only, or if this suggestion will be extended for subsequent weeks. I respect the Governor and his right and responsibility to give a recommendation that he believes is for the health and welfare of the citizens of our commonwealth. I also recognize that the larger the audience and platform the more broadly leaders must approach their recommendations. Hence, a call to all Kentuckians will by its nature mean a much more generalized call in order to encompass a wide variety of situations and individuals. I want to recognize that my own response is one that by its nature is also broader than your individual church and one that respects the autonomy of each local congregation. 

     With this reality in mind, it is important for each church and especially the leaders of our churches to consider wisely the recommendation from our Governor in particular and the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 situation in general. While the government must speak in very broad terms, each of you, as church leaders, have the capacity to consider and speak in quite specific terms regarding your own congregations. This is your responsibility as leaders. I want to implore you to use wisdom and discernment during this time. Take seriously the circumstances around this virus and its spread. Your church should have already taken steps to protect members and guests from any potential harm. If you have not, that should be your next action. This may entail extraordinary action regarding sanitizing public areas, especially childcare spaces, restrooms, and gathering spaces. It may mean adding additional options for handwashing or hand sanitizing. It might include suspending handshaking or other communal times that involve personal contact. It could also entail changes in how the Lord’s Supper or the offering is handled. It should probably involve suspending food or drink distribution for the foreseeable future. Certainly, you should be communicating to attendees to consider staying at home if they are sick or if they are in high-risk categories. For those, this might also be a good time to launch a simple live stream of your service. Tell all to take every personal precaution regarding hygiene (including handwashing, protective coughing, and avoiding touching the face). 
     As you consider these important steps, I also want to encourage you to consider the makeup of your congregation. One factor to consider is whether the majority of your congregants are in at-risk categories. The elderly and those with preexisting health conditions (especially respiratory and heart) are at greatest risk. If the majority of those attending services fall into one or both of these categories, then you should weigh that in your decision. Also, if your church does not have the capacity or manpower to take necessary steps as mentioned above to assure a clean and sanitary environment, then you should weigh that in your decision as well. Essentially, you should prayerfully and wisely discern the best next steps for your flock in the days to come. 
     Finally, I want to encourage you, as church leaders, to see this as an opportunity for strong leadership, wise action, and prayer. This is a time for us to show confidence in the provision and protection of the Lord in a season of fear and anxiety. As Jesus’ people, we are by nature an incarnational people. Presence in times of trouble provides a critical display of the Gospel. Just be faithful as God leads you. Please know that your associational leadership and I are here to provide support however we can and do not hesitate to reach out if we can help you process these important decisions.

Trusting Christ together, 
Todd Robertson, your AMS 

 

UPDATE ON COVID-19

 

March 13, 2020
Wow! How quickly things develop. On Wednesday I wrote regarding the COVID-19 (now pandemic) situation and shared my thoughts on how church leadership might best process decisions especially in regard to this weekend. At that point in time, the Governor had suggested a surprising recommendation for churches not to hold gatherings on Sunday. My hope in the original message was to encourage leaders towards wisdom and discernment and to look specifically at your church’s context and capacity. I still want to recommend that action, but with a caveat or two. 
In the last two days, we know a little more about the nature of COVID-19. It is called a novel coronavirus because much about it, and how it functions, are very new and not fully known. Experts are learning rapidly and sharing that information with the public. We are also being forced to learn more about epidemiology than we ever thought we would. It is also assured that with added days and more testing the number of positive cases will likely grow rapidly. I’ll be brutally honest, this is craziness! Who would have imagined that we would be processing so many factors in such a short period of time? Who would have imagined that not just Wally World, but most everything would be closed for business?
I have spoken with a number of you as leaders. Thank you for trusting me during this process. We have churches that have responded in a variety of ways. Many have decided to host online services, some are still meeting, and some will forego meeting and encourage family gatherings at home. The decisions have been made prayerfully and with great soberness. These decisions have been made based on a myriad of factors. Let us not judge faithfulness by how a church chooses to proceed in these uncharted waters. 
That being said, I do want to add that several developments stand out for me that I think are important to consider. The incubation period of this virus (as much as 14 days) is much longer than the influenza virus. This means that individuals who are positive for the virus might not show symptoms for that extended period and therefore could be a risk to others unknowingly. Also, the statistics on how “social distancing” can dramatically lessen how quickly and how much the virus spreads, especially as that relates to potentially overwhelming our health care systems is important to consider. I think we must also consider the breadth of cancellations and that both the Governor and Mayor have now requested larger gatherings, even religious ones, not to meet. It would be tragic if we unwittingly participated in the spread of a very dangerous and for some life-threatening virus.  
So, leaders, please take time to again press into prayer regarding upcoming gatherings. It is not too late to make a decision or change a decision if that is how the Lord leads you. This is not a measure of faithfulness or faithlessness. It should also not be a decision that we make based on fear, pride, or pressure. My prayer for you is to find the path that allows your church to exalt Jesus and love your neighbors well. Whatever steps you take next, know that this is a time to turn COVID-19 conversations into gospel conversations and to show the radical incarnational hospitality that Jesus calls us to display. Know that you have the prayers and support of the LRBA staff and leadership. 
Blessings, 
Todd Robertson, your AMS

 

 

FRIDAY UPDATE ON COVID-19
March 20, 2020
Happy Friday brothers and sisters. We love you and are so thankful for you. It’s been a week since my last written update and again a lot has transpired in a short span of time. Just a few shifts we’ve seen: new decisions and mandates have been delivered at the national and state level, church leaders have scrambled to figure out how to deliver information and have meetings digitally, concerns about pastoral care have been voiced, the worries about how to receive tithes and offerings in alternative ways have come, job instability has become a reality, and creative discussions have taken place about how to engage neighbors in a time of social distancing. You have probably arrived at the end of this week like me, a little frazzled, somewhat exhausted, and wondering what changes are coming next. Let me encourage you as leaders, take a deep breath, step away and spend some time with the Lord. Your spiritual health is vital during these difficult times. Pursue Jesus and trust the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and to give you wisdom and discernment. Pray for that wisdom and guidance from God as you lead. With the Lord’s help, You can do this!
During this past week it has been a blessing to talk to many pastors and leaders. I have been encouraged at the great work being done around our city by these faithful folks. God is at work and is using the church to display His glory. We have continued to push as much information to you as we can via our webpage and our FaceBook page (https://www.facebook.com/LouisvilleRegBaptAssn/). Please avail yourself to these resources as you work through the many issues at hand. One further resource that I want to encourage you to use is this google map of our city and our partner churches (https://bit.ly/LRBA-Church-Map). This would be a great time to be praying for and engaging with your sister congregations. Connect on ministry needs or missional activities, connect with other leaders for encouragement, or simply pray in your online services for churches in your community. Also, as an experiment this morning, we hosted an online gathering of pastors and leaders. Fifteen leaders joined in and it was great! After counsel from those who joined in, we have decided to continue those online gatherings starting next week. Each Monday at 8am and 8pm there will be a Zoom meeting for LRBA Pastors and leaders. Join in whenever you are able, morning or evening. Links for these meetings will be posted on FaceBook and the website. The goal is to spend no more than an hour, creating a time for encouragement, connection and shared ideas. 
Finally, as you seek to find focus after a week of being frantic and maybe even frozen, let me give you a little guide that might be helpful. 
1.     Pray. Regularly and without ceasing with Bible open. There is no greater work to do in this season. 
2.     Care. Find needs (within and without the church) and help connect resources. 
3.     Share. The love of Jesus and an offer of hope in a time of fear. Be connected. Make it tangible. 
Let’s not forget that God’s people are Kingdom citizens, right now! Let us live and serve with boldness like children of the KING. “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10, ESV)
 
Blessings, 
Todd Robertson, your AMS