As CBF/GA partner congregations and pastors continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities, the staff of CBF/GA is compiling and vetting resources from trusted government and Christian sources. This page will be updated as often as possible, but if you have any suggestions, please send them to Jody Long, Executive Coordinator, at [email protected]. Please check this page regularly for updates.
Resources for Re-Opening Churches and Resuming In-Person Gatherings:
- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Resources for Resuming – A curated collection of resources gathered by a task force of CBF leaders and pastors to help congregations discern ways to resume in-person gatherings.
- CBF’s Coronavirus Emergency Relief Fund – CBF’s presence and partnership among marginalized communities continues even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these communities have been especially hard hit during this crisis and access to food and basic essentials are being threatened. Your gifts go to helping those persons and communities meet needs and find hope.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility – Attention to cleaning and disinfecting our congregations will be key for successful re-opening and resumption of activities.
- Cleaning Protocols for Churches – COVID-19 – This resource, developed by a CBF/GA partner congregation member who owns a successful cleaning supply company, offers good guidance for approaching a plan for cleaning your congregations.
- 48 Questions for Your Church To Consider As It Plans To Re-Open – This initial blog post by Ken Braddy garnered much attention on social media. Braddy, the Sunday School Director for Lifeway Resources, has updated with more thoughtful and serious questions your congregation and its leadership should be asking before you reopen.
- Businesses and Organizations Confront Legal Issues with Re-Opening – An article from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the legal concerns many business owners have with re-opening. Churches and church leaders should also consider some of the legalities and responsibilities of re-opening congregations.
- Churches Should Not Be The First to Re-Open – An interesting, thought-provoking article from Christianity Today, a popular Christianity news and feature article magazine. Because of the age of many who attend our worship services and are members of our congregations, churches should exercise extreme caution when opening.
- How Will Churches Financially Survive This Season? – Some congregations are doing better than expected, in regards to giving and financial stability, during this pandemic. Others aren’t doing well at all. This article from The Washington Post looks at the dynamics that many of our partner congregations face.
- Many Georgia Congregations Stay Shut Even As Governor Opens State for Business – This USA Today article explores the delicate line many congregations across Georgia are walking as our state begins re-opening for business and other gatherings like church.
- Life is Whacked (Un-Whack It): 6 Steps for Intentionally Redesigning Your Life After COVID-19– This is a FREE resource produced by Rev. David White, Connections Pastor, at Johns Creek Baptist in Alpharetta, a CBF/GA partner congregation. This is a great resource for small groups. David has also developed a FREE companion workbook for guided self-reflection.
- 10 Considerations for Reopening Church – A good article by Dr. Rhonda Abbott Blevins, Pastor of Chapel By The Sea, Clearwater Beach, FL and longtime CBF supporter.
- Interim Plans for Reopening Businesses and Places of Worship – Guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that could be helpful for churches as they plan to reopen. The guidance for places of worship begins on page 7 of the document.
- Church Mutual Insurance, whom many CBF/GA partner congregations use for their church insurance needs, has developed several resources for churches as they begin to re-open. Recommendations for a Safe Return to Worship and this “Next Steps” Guide for continued use of what we’ve learned during this season of isolation can be helpful resources.
- Jim Chittom, a member of a CBF/GA partner congregation and owner of a multi-site janitorial and commercial cleaning supply company, helped develop this Cleaning Protocols for Churches – COVID-19. It is especially helpful for churches as they plan for the level of cleaning and disinfecting that will be needed as members return to the church and its buildings.
- Concerns over the role of congregational singing as churches re-open have been expressed for some time. The National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association hosted a much-talked and extremely well-attended conversation about the future of congregational singing. A follow-up article that distills the pertinent information from the conversation can be found here.
Video Conversations Concerning COVID-19 Responses:
- A Conversation With Pastors about Re-Opening Congregations
- A Conversation With Pastors and Church Leaders about Cleaning Protocols to ensure as safe of an environment as possible
Congregational Resources For COVID-19 Response:
- World Health Organization COVID-19 Information
- CDC Main Resources Page
- CDC Resources for Community and Faith-Based Leaders
- Recommended Practices for Faith Communities – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- State of Georgia Department of Public Health
- Carrot Health COVID-19 Dashboard
- U.S. Small Business Administration’s resources for CARES Act 2020 (U.S. Stimulus Package for COVID-19)
- U.S. Small Business Administation’s FAQ Sheet for CARES Act 2020
- How To Do Church Online webinar
- ZOOM online conference call/meeting platform – If your church does not have an online meeting software/service and is interested in trying ZOOM, please contact Jody Long, Executive Coordinator – [email protected] – for more information about receiving a technology grant to defray some costs.
- The Church.Digital – excellent collection of resources and weblinks for congregations who are engaging the world through a digital presence.
- A Comparison of 5 Different Church Online Giving Platforms
- Christian Witness in a Technological Age – YouTube lecture by Dr. Angela Gorrell, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Truett Seminary, Baylor University. Good academic lecture about the role of Christians in the technological world that we are inhabiting, especially during this season of physical distancing and isolation.
- CBF Global COVID-19 Resources
- CBF Global Podcasts concerning COVID-19 – featuring Carol McEntyre, current CBF-Global Moderator, and Roger Jasper, pastor of Living Faith Baptist Fellowship in Kentucky
- CBF Global’s Prayers of the People
- Preparing Your Church for Coronavirus
- A Concise Coronavirus Guide for Churches – from Christianity Today
- “Embracing the Grace of COVID-19” – Opinion article by Kathleen Parker, The Washington Post
- Ten Guidelines for Pastoral Care During the Coronavirus Outbreak – by Eileen Campbell-Reed, in The Christian Century
- Emerging Church Practices webinars, hosted by Pinnacle Leadership Associates, each Tuesday, at 11:00 am for FREE
- Public Health Emergency Continuity Planning for Congregations
- Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
- Resources for Christian Leaders During the COVID-19 Crisis – from Faith and Leadership, a publication of Duke University
- The Ultimate Coronavirus Guide for Congregations – a wonderful collection of good ideas and suggestions for congregations
- No Kid Hungry Coronavirus Grant Request – No Kid Hungry helps provide food for at-risk children through school and community partners. This grant opportunity is for those whose ministry of providing food security is threatened because of COVID-19.
- Church Mutual’s Coronavirus Information Page – If your church uses Church Mutual for its property, worker’s compensation, and other insurance needs, this is a good resource as you deal issues that may arise.
- All January – April 2020 Smyth and Helwys’ Formations, Connections, and Reflections online Bible Study and Sunday school e-books are FREE
- Intergenerational Bible Study sessions based upon the work of Mr. Rogers – www.thethoughtfulchristian.com is providing this free resource for congregations. In late summer 2019, CBF/GA and partner congregation, Smoke Rise Baptist in Stone Mountain, hosted a Sunday school training event based upon the work of Fred Rogers. This is an excellent resource that could be adapted for distance learning and engagement.
- www.thethoughtfulchristian.com is providing its annual downloadable Lenten study pack for FREE – Adult Participant Handouts and Adult Leader Guides
- Christianity Offers No Answers About the Coronavirus. It’s Not Supposed To. – Great read by New Testament theologian and author, Dr. N.T. Wright, about the need for lament during this season of grief and isolation.
- A Public Service Announcement filmed by CBF/GA partner pastor, Dr. Tony Lankford, FBC St. Simons Island, and his ecumenical Peer Learning Group.
- A Pastors and Congregational Leaders Letter from CBF/GA Executive Coordinator Jody Long concerning the CARES Act and other resources more recently available to congregations and church leaders
- Vanderbloemen, a church leadership resourcing group, offered this webinar about the CARES Act on Friday, March 27.
- Chaney & Associates, a church and non-profit consulting group, offered this webinar, in partnership with CBF of North Carolina on Saturday, March 28, addressing the CARES Act and implications for congregations.
- CBF’s Church Benefits Board CARES Act Summary for PPP
- CBF’s Church Benefits Board FAQs for SBA Loans to Churches
- CBF’s Church Benefits Board Retirement Plan Provisions of CARES ACT
- The Baptist Joint Committee’s Response to the CARES Act
Youth Ministry Resources
- CBF Youth Ministry Network Facebook Group – membership fee applies to join the CBFYMN but well worth the investment, even beyond this crisis!
- Doing Youth Ministry During a Pandemic – from Fuller Youth Institute of Fuller Seminary
- 5 Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus – Opinion by Lisa Damour, in The New York Times
- Notes from CBFYMN Zoom Conversation on March 17, 2020
- www.thethoughtfulchristian.com is providing its annual downloadable Lenten study pack for FREE – Youth Participant Handouts and Youth Leader Guides
- Naming Loss and Gratitude With Young People in These Uncertain Times – good article from Fuller Youth Institute of Fuller Seminary
Children’s Ministry Resources
- CBF Children’s Ministry Network Facebook Group – FREE resource that is well worth your time to explore and join, even beyond this crisis!
- Illustrated Ministry – FREE weekly faith formation resources
- Flyaway Books has a full list of free and downloadable activities like an origami butterfly, a paper airplane, parable-themed coloring pages, and more. Also, if you have some of their children’s books, there are discussion guides you can use with children at home.
- Each week, www.thethoughtfulchristian.com will be providing, via email, a free story with corresponding activities and a pack of five coloring pages from the children’s curriculum, Growing in Grace and Gratitude. Palm Sunday resources from Growing in Grace and Gratitude.
CBF/GA recognizes that some of our partner congregations currently do not have the capability to offer online giving, which can be vital to ongoing ministries during this season of physical separation due to COVID-19. CBF/GA, in consultation and agreement with some of our partner congregations, is offering our online donation platform as a vehicle to receive gifts, tithes, and offerings from individual church members and distribute them back to these partner congregations. If your congregation does not currently have an online giving platform, and would like for CBF/GA to assist you in this process, please contact Rachel Greco, [email protected], for more information.