An Open Letter to Pastors (and ministers) Delivering Regular Content During the Pandemic

Dear Pastors (and fellow Ministers)

As I write this, it is late Saturday night and I am thinking about my sermon for tomorrow. I’ve been looking at my notes, the Scripture, and thinking about the overall theme, paying particular attention to how I might be able to draw the sermon to a close. For some reason, I don’t know why, invitations have become more difficult for me in the last year or so.

But it’s not the Sunday morning sermon that concerns me – at least that’s not the reason for me writing this letter to you. It’s the content that you and I are expected to deliver to those watching on Facebook, YouTube, or whatever other streaming service you prefer.

I don’t want you to get tired of doing it. I don’t want you to get discouraged and give up too soon!

I don’t know about you guys, but I have been producing more Bible teaching since the pandemic began than any other time in my life! I literally post online content 6 days a week, twice on Sunday and Wednesday! That’s EIGHT original content presentations a week! Granted, what I produce during the week is not as deep as what I might deliver on a Sunday or Wednesday night, but sometimes it is deeper. Sometimes it could qualify for a full-fledged sermon. But is 8 times a week a little much?

Especially if you feel nobody is watching? Anybody with me?

Without a doubt we pastors are working harder than ever before. One reason I can say that with complete confidence is that we are, at the very least, using spiritual, mental, and emotional muscles we’ve never used before. We are in uncharted territory most days. That can drain a person.

Yet, what does your congregation expect out of you? How else are you able to stay in touch or connected throughout the week? I know this might sound self-serving or vain, but is what you are doing online partly due to the fact that you don’t want to appear as idle or taking advantage of the social distancing?

How many of you are beginning to question the efficacy of all the online content we are producing? How many of you are beginning to feel like you’re having little to no impact? I’m not going to lie; I’ve been feeling that way more often each day.

Nevertheless, what I don’t know is what God knows. What I am doing is the best I can with what I’ve been given. I am using every means possible to keep church (and all that’s involved with that word) in the lives of my flock. I’m doing all I can to make holy lemonade out of COVID-19 lemons. And only God knows what really happens on the other side of the computer or smartphone screen.

Though not exactly the same context, I am reminded of the following verse:

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

No farmer expects to make pie out of the fruit of his labor the day after he plants the first seed. Likewise, we don’t have any idea what this surge of biblical content is going to affect in the future: no one has ever had the opportunity to calculate the germination times.

We are planting and watering in fields where the Word of God has never been sown. We are flooding the airwaves and the internet with more of the Gospel message than at any other single time in history! And all that we are doing, all that we are sowing, and in all the areas and hearts where our ministry is reaching… Have we forgotten it is guaranteed to produce fruit of some kind? His Word does not return void!.

Maybe you didn’t need the reminder. Maybe it’s just me. But I just want you to know that we were put here for this time. What we do in this time will affect not only today, but tomorrow, too. We may never live to see the results of our plowing and cultivating and planting, but future generations may be feeding on the fruit decades after we have left the plow.

Don’t grow weary, gentlemen. Be encouraged! Stay strong! Keep up the good work!

Sometimes the only one in the field is the farmer. Keep farming while the weather permits.

3 Comments

Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, blogging, Christianity, Church, coronavirus, ministry, Preaching, the future

3 responses to “An Open Letter to Pastors (and ministers) Delivering Regular Content During the Pandemic

  1. Hey Pastor. Don’t allow the enemy to cause doubt, or confusion, as you are faithful to the call of God, and ministry of Holy Spirit through you. These are times when more people are seeking answers, because the world has nothing but gloom and despair to offer.
    As many fill in time, scrolling through, flipping by, Holy Spirit may bring them to your writings about the Peace Jesus Christ gives during all times, even troubling pandemic days. Then they will also see the message of Salvation, in easy to understand language, by a man of God who also understands what they are going through. It is better for them to hear the truth from you, than to hear some far out millionaire telling them to send money to him, and they will have problems solved, and will prosper.
    Don’t hesitate or give up Pastor, God will honour and bless you, in Jesus Name. You may not see all the results this side of Glory, but you will on the other side, as we see Jesus face to face, and fall prostrate in worship before our Father.

  2. Just so you know. I am feeling the exact same way. On top of my full time job, I’m still posting 4 or 5 times a week with my devotionals for my youth group to read or watch. I sometimes feel as if I am having no impact at all. It really actually sucks. Sometimes I will be having zoom meetings with the youth group and only 1 or 2 or 0 show up because of whatever reason comes up.

    I know I’m fighting an uphill battle with not having the chance to meet in person and none of the parents of the kids actually care for church, but it’s still hard without that in mind.
    So it actually gives me a little bit of confidence that I’m not alone in this. Also your post reminded me that Gods word doesn’t go out void. I just would rather see the fruit of his word spoken through me in the span of a couple months and not decades. But that’s my selfish self speaking lol.
    Again thanks for the post. I hope you are doing well.

  3. It’s hard for people taking care of the regular demands of life to consume content 8 times a week.

    Maybe that’s why the Bible says the early church came together the first day of the week, not every day of the week.

    I don’t say that to discourage you, but to remind you of the Biblical pattern and say, “Hey, you don’t have to do more than even God prescribed.”

    Personally, I can’t absorb and don’t even have time to watch my preacher 8 times a week.

    That might work for some, but I don’t watch TV either, I prefer to take in info by reading.

    For me, it’s much faster.

    There is also (in general, not you) an element of fellowship that is missing when you just watch preachers delivering content. It’s very passive.

    I don’t imagine it’s easy for you guys either, to preach to camera lenses.

    An old preacher I knew started a radio station and every Sunday night he would open the phone lines. He and his wife would chat live with folks who were shut-ins. It grew to a large audience in the city and it really met a need for those who couldn’t get out any longer.

    People would call in and sing, play the piano, recite scripture, request prayer, and just chat with the preacher for a few moments.

    Keep up the good work. Let the congregation shoulder some things. Have a Zoom pop-up testimony time, and/or a Zoom singing.

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