How then shall we respond to COVID-19?

written by Joel Kumar

Let’s face it.

None of us could have prepared for a crisis like this.

If you are leading an organisation, a team or your family, you know the plans you made a couple of months ago are no longer relevant.

Like me, perhaps you have been reminded during this crisis of Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Although we are needing to rethink, reimagine and reprioritise our plans, strategies and tactics, no crisis can change a vision that is God-centred, Kingdom-focused & mission-minded.

No virus can threaten God’s mission or His purpose and promises.

So then, how do we — as followers of Christ — need to respond to this crisis?

You, like me, might be wondering how you can be purposeful as you “shelter at home”, redeeming your time in a way that honors God and seeks the good of others?

Here are 4 practical ideas:

1. Don’t let Isolation interfere with Intercession.

Be in prayer.

This is one thing all of us can do no matter where we are. Pray for those affected by this global pandemic. Pray for the lost to seek Hope in the midst of this crisis.

Our current situation has forced churches, organisations and businesses alike to pivot, seeking ways to maintain connectivity despite physical distancing. In the last three weeks, I have had the opportunity to pray together online with followers of Christ from around the world - some of whom I have never met and perhaps will never meet in person.

I have attended prayer meetings via Zoom and Microsoft Teams, interceding for the nations while in a different nation than the group hosting the meeting. What a unique blessing to experience corporate prayer in this way. is a helpful resource you can use to inform your prayers.

2. Be informed by the news, not consumed by it.

From inboxes to social media, every online platform is full of news and content regarding the crisis. Some helpful, others not so much.

If we are not careful, the consumption of news and media has the potential to become our full-time job.

Allow the facts to be a tool that helps you pray intelligibly yet not derail you from how we as Christ’s followers are to respond.

As always, this crisis prompts each of us as Christ followers to be consumed by the Truth found in:

  1. the Word of God,
  2. the Son of God,
  3. the Spirit of God.

Don’t let the news get in the way of the Good News.

3. Choose to be an encouragement. Don’t wait; act now.

When we see people all around us experiencing fear, anxiety and a sense of powerlessness, we — whose Hope is set on things above — are called to live as people of peace.

Let your Facebook statuses and Instagram posts display the peace you have in Christ.

Pastors, ministry and business leaders are all under significant pressure as we navigate this crisis. Encourage them.

Sometimes a simple text or email is all it takes to lighten someone’s load. Perhaps you can start by sharing this blog with a friend.

You don’t need permission to encourage. All you need is a willing heart lead by the Spirit to act on your good intentions.

4. Be driven by generosity, not immobilized by uncertainty.

Generosity is more important than ever. As businesses and employees all over the world face uncertainty, may we be generous both with empathy and action.

Many of OM’s ministries happen in:

  • refugee camps
  • remote villages with little to no Gospel presence,
  • poor, marginalised and vulnerable communities.

Many of my colleagues — brothers and sisters in Christ — are serving in hostile conditions around the world and have chosen to stay in their mission fields to serve the people God has called them to.

Although we are encouraged that some are able to use technology to maintain contact with those they serve, we are also burdened for ministries such as one in sub-Saharan Africa in a poor shanty compound required to close due to COVID-19.

As we pray for front-line workers serving in poor and vulnerable communities with no healthcare access and uncertain finances, let us choose generosity.
Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know the One who “upholds
the universe by the word of his power.”
— Hebrews 1:3

So, as we face this crisis together, let us respond with hope, act in faith and live out love for the glory of God. 

Check out OM’s response to COVID-19.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:9


Written by:

Joel Kumar
Joel has served in missions and ministry in Asia and North America and currently leads the work of OM in New Zealand.


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