I have heard the phrase, “It’s always something,” and even said it a few times, exasperated by the circumstances around me over which I had no control.
The situation all of us find ourselves in today with the coronavirus is one of those exasperating moments where we feel helpless to get things back to “normal,” whatever that is.
I feel bad for the churches in California hearing mixed signals and having to constantly adapt to an ever-changing environment. One moment they can have church, then the size of the crowd can be 500, then the crowd size is 250, with the most recent “suggestion” of crowds of no more than 10. Churches are doing the best they can to balance the safety and security of their congregations with the mandate to share the gospel. Pastors and members need our prayers and support during these difficult days.
Many of our church members are small business owners and they too are being affected. California Southern Baptist Convention is one of those small businesses. We too are conscious of the safety of our staff and the mission we have to resource the vision of our churches. In an effort to protect our staff and those with whom they interact in the churches we have instituted several things:
- We have suspended travel until April 30. If the coronavirus is defeated by then we may resume travel but for now staff travel will stop.
- We have canceled all meetings until April 30. Until the all-clear is given we do not want to put people at unnecessary risk.
- We have put a hold on all expenditures that are not necessary to ongoing operation. Last time there was a major economic downturn the Convention lost $2 million annually in revenue. That is not sustainable at this time.
- We have discontinued camps at Jenness Park until April 30. This was more the decision of the parents of campers than it was the Convention. People are fearful to send their children to camp, where they can’t be sure of their safety against infection from the coronavirus.
- Our staff has begun to work remotely for those who are able to do so. That makes for fewer people in the building and allows people to quarantine at home.
These are the changes we feel are needed at this time. As with everything else, they are subject to change. Hopefully we can be back to “normal” sooner rather than later and be stronger than before.
Pray for us. As I said before, “It’s always something.” Let’s make sure God receives the glory for what He does in this situation.
See archives of Dr. Agee's previous Insights.