ARTICLE

A Time Of Testing For The Church

News Image By Tony Perkins/Family Research Council March 23, 2020
Share this article:

When the coronavirus hit Alabama, there was one thing Pastor Chris Hodges's church had that a lot of doctors' offices didn't: a big parking lot. 

For the last few days, that asphalt has been a saving grace to the people of Birmingham. By the thousands, they've come to Church of the Highlands -- which has just transformed into one of the largest testing sites in the city. And Church of the Highlands couldn't be happier.

"It was something else," Associate Pastor Dino Rizzo told me, shaking his head. "You remember some of the lines we experienced during Katrina," he asked? I do, vividly. When Pastor Rizzo was based in Baton Rouge, we were part of a massive relief effort that passed out food, gas, and ice. 


This week, he said on "Washington Watch," was just like that. Only instead of handing out supplies, they were handling tests. All because their church was willing to share its space and wi-fi.

The city's health officials were able to test 400 people on Tuesday alone. But the benefit of this happening at his church, Dino told me, is that people are getting a whole lot more than their physical needs met. 

"One of the cool things we did was we were able to put up a radio signal that people could tune in while they're sitting in line... They could tune in and listen to the instructions for what the testing was going to be like. And then also instructions about things that we're offering at the church for their family and then to pray with them." 

The church set up a number that people could text if they needed prayer. "I want to say of the 400... we had 325 text for prayer. People are hungry. People are open. People are ready to get prayed for. They need the gospel."

It's time, Dino urged, "for the church to be the church. I think the combination of meeting the need and helping people with their fear. 

The partnership with the medical community and being the church -- like you said, our core mission -- giving people Jesus. And there are a lot of ways churches are doing it. So I'm proud of the body of Christ. You and I saw it at Katrina. We saw some of the best of the church. And I think we're going to see it again."

Of course, it all starts with looking outward instead of inward. When these disasters happen, there's a tendency to hunker down and compare what we have or don't have, as opposed and what we can give and what we can do for others. 

Dino says he's been in conversations with a lot of local pastors, urging them to think creatively. Sure, there are the traditional things that come with being in the pulpit -- sermons and Sunday services. But, he argues, "Most of us didn't get in ministry just for that -- or didn't come to Christ just for that. 

It's in how we care for people. It's in how we pray. It's how we check on people. It's how we notice the needs of others. You know, it's not in the big things. It's in the small things. And I think just starting with what you have. Just start somewhere."

We're not talking about major undertakings here. As Dino said, just check on your neighbor or call an elderly person on the phone. "Partner with the school. Connect with someone who's vulnerable. Look for the small and simple ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus." There are plenty.

Originally published at Family Research Council - reposted with permission.




Other News

May 16, 2022Shortages Of Diesel Fuel And Electricity Are Coming In The Months Ahead

On top of everything else that is going wrong in the nation, shall we add a diesel fuel shortage and a nationwide electricity shortage to ...

May 16, 2022Pre-Crime Predictive AI Technology Puts Us All At Risk

Without having ever knowingly committed a crime or been convicted of one, you and your fellow citizens have likely been assessed for behav...

May 16, 2022Only 6% Of UK Adults Identify As Practicing Christians

The report shows that only 6% of adults in the UK identify as practicing Christians, while 42% say they are non-practicing Christians. It ...

May 16 ,2022The Five Miracles Of Israel

One of the problems with the need to always defend yourself is that you can lose sight of the big picture. In recent years, with the rise ...

May 14, 2022That Giant Sound You Just Heard Was The Housing Market Starting To Crack

More than a decade ago, we witnessed an absolutely unprecedented "housing bubble" in the United States followed by a horrific crash that r...

May 14, 2022US Put On Notice - China Accelerates Nuclear Buildup, Military Modernization

For the first time in our history, the nation is on a trajectory to face two nuclear-capable, strategic peer adversaries at the same time,...

May 13, 2022Canada's Embrace Of Assisted Suicide Even Includes Church Hosted Services

Betty Sanguin chose to end her life at Churchill Park United Church, a progressive and LGTBQ Affirming Church in Manitoba, surrounded by f...

Get Breaking News