Episode 14: Coronavirus?! How Should Churches Respond?

Ordinary Radicals
Ordinary Radicals
Episode 14: Coronavirus?! How Should Churches Respond?

In this episode of the Ordinary Radicals podcast, Jonathan Hayashi and Brandon Boatner speak on how the church can respond/should respond to the coronavirus.

How should pastors reach local congregants through the preaching of God’s Word? How could churches collect tithes and offerings? What about pastoral care in providing resources for the flock?


Some highlights from today’s episode;

  • On an individual level, Christians should not live by the spirit and fear of timidity.
  • Christians ought not to respond like the world.
  • I am not fearful of getting the virus as I’m young and healthy. I am fearful as a pastor spreading the virus.

  • I can be hurtful by being prideful and arrogant because of my health and myself.
  • As pastors, we need to have a heart like a shepherd, but it must be wise how we approach this particular issue.
  • Christians do not fear like the world, however, that does not mean believers are oblivious to the problem. “I don’t care. I will do whatever because Jesus is with me!”

  • As believers, we ought to be praying for pastors, clergies, church leaders for they are making tough calls.
  • Pastors haven’t taken classes in seminary called, “How to lead your church through a Pandemic” This is all new to many pastors.
  • I don’t agree with this, but some churches say, “No, we are still going to meet. We will go against the law of the land and what authorities have said.
  • Pastors are being threatened by being said, “Pastor, if you cancel service, we are going to fire you! Because you are disregarding the biblical mandate to not neglect the assembly of believers.”
  • Churches have been accustomed to a building; Christians don’t know how to be the church beyond the four walls.

  • God has forced us to slow down so that we might look at our lives and see where our priorities have been.
  • It is an oxymoron, “I have been a Christian for 30 years, but I have not been to church in 30 years.” It’s almost like saying, “I’ve been married to my wife but haven’t seen my wife for 30 years!”
  • Christians can be HOPEFUL rather than HOPELESS like the rest of the world. For the Word gives us some great encouragement and great HOPE!

  • “Music is a noble gift of God, next to theology” – Martin Luther


Here’s an outline from today’s conversation;

1. What is Happening with Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

– Coronavirus began the spread in January: As a result? Spread through China, Italy and now all around the world.

– NBA suspended, conferences canceled, NY & CA shut down, and the USA may be shut down?!

– Coronavirus is real and is a big deal: Nothing like 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.


– The two major/extreme responses;

– (1) Over-reacted panic responses (Examples: toilet papers, food outage, isolation).

– (2) Under-minding oblivious responses (Examples: college students parting at beaches).


Christians on an individual/interpersonal level;

– “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline” (2 Timo 1:7).

– God’s calm assurance in His Sovereignty (Rom 9:1-24).

– “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).

– “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Heb 13:16).

– “But if anyone has the world’s good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17).

– “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this; visit orphans and widows in their affliction.” (James 1:27).

– “Be wise as a serpent and innocent as doves.” (Matt 10:16).

– “Cast all your anxiety to Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:7).

– “Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa 41:10).

– “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” (Matt 22:37).


2. How Should Churches Think Biblically?

– President: less than 10? CDC: less than 50? What should local churches practically do?

– There are two issues: Should Churches MEET or NOT meet?

– (1) “Let us not neglect the assembly of believers” (Heb 10:25).

– (2) “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” (Rom 13:1).

– Churches have been accustomed to a building, Christians don’t know how to be the church beyond the four walls.

– The unique opportunity churches to shine: (The positive side to think uniquely).

– Christians/Churches are re-evaluating the missional effectiveness.

– Online Virtual Meeting is not IDEAL:


– The doctrine of the Church

– (1) Christ-followers were baptized and identified with other believers (Acts 2:41).

– (2) The church is a body, and a body can’t exist without members (1 Cor 12:27).

– (3) The church is God’s gift for your safety, health, and growth (Eph 4:11-16).

– (4) Believers must be committed to the church Jesus loved (Eph 5:25).

– (5) The church must regularly gather together (Heb 10:25).


– Opportunity to refocus inward, outward and heavenward

– Inward: “I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.” (2 Tim 1:4).

– Outward: “Let your light shine before men.” (Matt 5:19).

– Heavenward: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).


– A time of testing, trials, and tribulation (1 Pet 1:7; Jam 1:12; Rom 12:12).

– “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (Jam 1:2-3).

– “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.” (Rom 5:3-5).


3. Practically Things Churches Can Do in Response?

– What can small churches practically to help the saints continue with the preaching of God’s Word and hearing of God’s Word so people may continue to know Christ and to make Him known?


Practical Tools & Helpful Guides for Christian Believers. 

– Directory: Calling down the list of names once a week.

– For the first time, people can expect phone calls from churches to be loved and prayed.

– Facebook Live: Livestreaming the Service.

– Record a sermon via smartphone and add later on the web.

– Do not necessarily have to do in a building. Do in front of a computer screen as well.

– Shared spaces with other churches. Unity across denominational lines.

– Online Giving: (Free Resources).

– Lifeway Christian Resource has free of charge service giving.

– YouTube Channel: Video streaming service.

– Zoom Meeting: Many public schools are utilizing this platform.

– Colleges & Universities: Going online utilizing Zoom or Canvas.

– Resources for the home: Family Devotion

– D6 Family Ministry: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deut 6:4-6).

– “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6).

– A Systematic Theology book for your children.

– The New City Catechism for your children.

– The Gospel Project by Lifeway Christian Resource

– Family, Student or Children Ministry individually packaged for the flock.

– Tripod with a smartphone and record yourself! Put it on YouTube.


Resources mentioned in today’s podcast



If you have a question you would like answered on the show, fill out the form on the podcast page here at jonathanhayashi.com.


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