What an interesting time we are living in. None of us began the year expecting to be quarantined in our homes, unable to travel or live life normally. Many people are asking, “How do we, as Christians, respond during a time like this?”
There are three things that we, as Christ-followers, can commit to doing:
1. Proclaim hope in Christ
In all circumstances, we remain committed to pointing others to the hope found only in Jesus. That’s our calling and privilege as believers, and we must make every effort to offer others hope that only He can provide. During this crisis, we have a great opportunity to share the truth of Christ with the world, and I think people are more open to receive Him than ever before.
2. Trust Christ with our fear and anxiety
A verse that comes to mind is Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As followers of Christ, we are called to be His living example in the midst of any storm. We can submit our fears and anxieties to Him, knowing that He will be with us. He is God over this storm, over this pandemic, over every situation in our lives. How we trust Him in this crisis is a powerful testimony to the world.
3. Remember our communities
Today, an overwhelming number of people are ruled by anxiety and depression. We can remind them that they are not alone. As believers, we are called to fellowship and to love one another. Though we are encouraged to stay in our homes and practice social distancing, God has given us amazing technology — our smartphones, FaceTime, Skype, and other platforms — to be able to connect with, support, and show Christ’s love to others.
Think of the people in your life that you can encourage during this unprecedented time. Be like Jesus and reach out; take notice of those in desperate need of community. Offer them hope. As I’ve said many times, relationships matter. When we deepen our relationships with others, we begin to learn where they need Jesus, and how we can share our faith with them.
During this crisis, our ministry is working hard to be a resource for you. We’d be honored to pray for you. (Click here to submit a prayer request.) We are here to serve and help in any way we can.
Until the whole world hears,
Our mission at Josh McDowell Ministry is to serve others until the whole world hears about Jesus.
In the midst of this global pandemic, we remain committed to our calling. Now, more than ever, the world needs Jesus Christ. Those who don’t have a relationship with Him have crisis-inspired questions, which creates a new openness in their hearts to the good news of the gospel. New believers need encouragement to grow in their faith. Mature Christians want new ways to reach their communities. There is no shortage of opportunity!
While our live events are on hold, Josh McDowell Ministry continues to produce digital content. Our staff, around the world, are continuing their evangelism and discipleship efforts using printed and digital resources, where available. We are continuing to translate resources into other languages for digital applications such as hotspots, USB drives, and websites.
Here in the United States our staff meets online twice each week, from their homes, to pray specifically for needs shared on our website, social media channels, and phone calls (866-252-5424). Can we also pray for you?
We thank God for your continued prayers and support! And we want to encourage you during these challenging times. Enjoy timely resources to encourage you, your family and your community on this page and around our website.
We need YOU to help us reach the world with the love of Christ in this uncertain time. Click here to see how you can make a huge difference in our ministry of hope!
What Comes Next?
(What will life be like after the COVID-19 pandemic?)
Reflections on Possible Trends by Josh D. McDowell
- 1. Economic Climate
The economic climate will be characterized by a large number of bankruptcies. Why? Three months ago, many large stores and chains were teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because four-walled stores were being challenged by online giants like Amazon. Once the crisis is over, many retail establishments may not have the capacity to bounce back. This is not all bad. The COVID-19 lockdown will have a significant impact on people’s buying habits.
- 2. Spiritual Climate
There will be a shift in the spiritual climate with greater interest in spiritual things – but not necessarily interest in churches. Many people are seeking to understand the current reality by asking “why?” questions. The Church will need to be ready to address issues relating to the goodness of God, anxiety, depression, mental health and relationships. Relevant topics for churches to address include “How to build relationships” and “How to be better connected.”It’s likely that “church” will be done differently. Online church services have taken on new significance and a much greater interest in small groups and house gatherings may emerge as important ways of making personal connections. In the groups, there will most likely be an increased interest in relationships and faith.
- 3. Emotional Climate
Post-pandemic, a time characterized by intense anxiety, depression, loneliness, and other mental health issues will be widespread. Three months ago, before COVID-19, three top themes in mental health that were reaching epidemic proportion were: 1) Pornography addiction, 2) Loneliness, and 3) Anxiety, depression, as well as other issues. These themes have been true globally in nearly every culture. The COVID-19 lockdown will not pacify any of the three previous epidemics. Isolation will only exacerbate anxiety, depression, pornography addiction, loneliness and mental health problems.
- 4. Workforce Trends
There are indications that the trend to work-at-home will continue. The work-at-home experiences during this virus crisis have allowed businesses and corporations to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of employees performing their responsibilities from remote locations. Organizations may decide to save money and reduce expenses through having smaller physical offices and deploying a remote workforce.
5. Baby Boom A baby boom nine months from now is a real possibility. While the COVID-19 crisis is different from the crises of 9/11, Pearl Harbor, etc., couples who have been isolated for a month or more may end up expanding their families whether intentionally or unintentionally.
- 6. Divorce Surge
Many marriages may break down – especially those that were struggling pre-pandemic. The pandemic-imposed isolation will accentuate financial stress, as well as feelings of disconnection, loneliness, anxiety, and fears of job loss. These stressors could become tipping points for struggling couples.
- 7. Educational Shifts
Parents may be facing a mix of emotions. The lockdown may well convince many, “No way with homeschooling” because they feel overwhelmed at taking on this task. Other parents may develop very positive attitudes about schooling at home. Schools will need to evaluate a new or different approach to educating our children. College and university students that have moved home present additional shifts in family life that could have positive or negative impacts.
- 8. Pornography Addiction
One of the major crises of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the explosion of addiction to pornography. Why? The human isolation of home lockdown feeds into most things that trigger porn addiction, i.e., loneliness, fear, stress, anxiety, depression and isolation. Any one of these tremendously enhances the appeal of porn. The cumulative effect of all of these issues can be devastating. In order to feed porn into more lives, Pornhub, the world’s largest porn site, gave Italy one month of free “extreme porn.” On March 25th, it made its premium content available for free worldwide for one month.”
At a glance, one would think that nothing good could result from social distancing, specific to relationships.
The stay-at-home mandate does significantly interfere with our in-person contact with others. But it also brings opportunity.
This new normal has ushered in an era of intentionality and creativity in terms of human connection. Healthy relationships are important to our mental health and well-being, even when we’re not dealing with a crisis. But now that we’re in the midst of one, it’s even more critical that we make meaningful contact with our friends and loved ones to stay connected and be encouraged.
From even the first days of the quarantine, people have been brainstorming new, innovative ways of doing just that. What has developed from this season of physical separation has been a beautiful illustration of perseverance, love, and ingenuity.
From teacher parades outside of student’s homes, to scavenger hunts for kids to find teddy bears in the windows of their neighbors, an outpouring of acts of kindness has permeated this otherwise melancholy period. The positive impact of these acts is beyond measure to so many!
There are so many meaningful ways that you and I can reach out from our homes to encourage and connect with others.
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Josh McDowell was born into the harsh realities of a cruel world. A dysfunctional family life, an alcoholic and violent father, and a sexually abusive worker on the family farm left Josh with a lifetime of scars and filled him with shame. Over the years, the shame and scars caused him to deny God’s existence.
Undaunted is the dramatic true story of how Josh overcame adversity to become one of the most influential evangelists today. For a limited time, watch this award-winning film for free and see how Josh’s compelling story can make a difference in your life and in the lives of people you know.
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My ten-year old son, Asher turned to me in response to those who are struggling to make sense during this time: “…but Dad, this world is broken!” Everyone is affected by the spread of COVID-19. Truly, it’s the best of times and the worst of times. Fear and anxiety flows from the things we don’t know… yet, this crisis highlights three things we do know – and must never forget to remember.
Loss of loved ones. Uncertainty. Job loss. Lack of safety. The effects of COVID-19 are endless, and ruthless and threaten our physical, mental, relational, and spiritual health. No matter what you are facing during this time, you are not alone. You were made to thrive, being created in the likeness of God with infinite worth. You were designed to experience the assurance of safety, to know that everything will be ok.
What is Your Emotional Anchor For Dealing With COVID-19?
In this quick video, Matt spells out the truth: that life is uncertain, and where we place our trust and hope matters. Listen as Matt encourages you to be steadfast in the only source stronger than pain and death itself: Jesus. Even if we lose that which we hold most dear, we have His assurance that He will always walk through our trials with us. Take comfort in the truth that nothing — not even COVID-19 — is outside of His sovereign hand.