Responding to a Crisis

The last several weeks have brought about unimaginable change to the way of life for most people across the world. No other event in my lifetime, including 9/11, has changed the daily life and routine like the COVID-19 crisis. We have witnessed the rapid spread of the virus, a steep economic downturn, and unprecedented growth in the number of people unemployed.

On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). This legislation is the largest economic stimulus package in the history of the United States. This sweeping legislation has financial stimulus for businesses large and small, unemployment assistance changes, and direct payments to individuals and families.

We now have the opportunity to be good stewards of this occasion. This opportunity begs the question: Will you tithe your stimulus check to your local church? The reality is that just as every person has been affected by the crisis so has every church. The work of the Kingdom cannot stop because a crisis has come. In fact, the work of the Kingdom is more important than ever. During this crisis the community will need our churches to be a light in the darkness and hope in the midst of despair and fear.

If all North Carolina Baptists would tithe out of their stimulus checks, we would add millions of dollars to the Kingdom work of our churches at this vital time in ministry to our community. We would aid our associations in building partnerships in communities large and small across the state. If each one of us would tithe out of our stimulus funds, we would empower our state convention and the Southern Baptist convention to provide disaster relief to hard hit areas and resource missionaries who will proclaim the Gospel to people who have never heard. We will supply our educational institutions and social ministries with needed resources to both endure the crisis and continue their critical mission.

Our government is putting money in our hands to help cover life’s essentials. Each of us will spend this money in different ways for a variety of reasons. We must not forget, however, that as believers, the work of the Kingdom is essential in times of peace and times of crisis. We fund the work of the Kingdom because we know that everything we have belongs to the Lord.

Now is not the time to retreat from the work we have before us. God has brought us to this moment, and He remains sovereign over all. People are hurting and full of fear. They are uncertain about what will happen with their health, their wealth, and their employment. They do not know what to do and they have no where to turn for hope. May it be said of us, when the future books are written on the history of the church, that we were faithful in the midst of this crisis and stood boldly with the Gospel of Christ.

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