Our nation is a year into the infamous COVID-19 pandemic. It has ravaged our communities in ways unforeseen, but throughout the year, everyone has found unique ways to adapt and endure. The same is true for church planting families.
While the pandemic has had good and bad consequences, pastors and planting wives have felt a unique sting. Here are the testimonies of the challenges faced by church planting wives in this season.
Q: What has been the most disruptive consequence to your church plant because of the pandemic?
A: Planting wives:
“Fewer people has meant fewer volunteers, which for a church plant with no staff can be detrimental! This basically means a few people are running themselves into the ground to keep things moving in a complicated time.”
“We have had multiple highly-involved families realize they can work remotely even after the pandemic ends and relocate back to their home state.”
“It’s hard to say. There are so many things. One of the most disruptive things has possibly been losing our [meeting] space, but also trying to do what we feel is safest for our church, health-wise and spiritually, and everyone having different thoughts as to what that should be.”
“Our biggest disruptor has been the inability to have outreach and community events, even outdoors. With that being said, finding new ways to encourage our people to organically engage others one-on-one has been challenging.”
“Our church was meeting in a school, so we had to move to a new location. Since last March we have met in four different places.”
“For us it has been having to have more services so we can be more spread out in church.”
“Not being able to do several outreach events.”
Q: What has been a challenging consequence to your family because of the pandemic?
A: Planting wives:
“A complete lack of rhythms. Kids are in school, then out, back on a hybrid schedule with as little as a week or two notice. Very difficult to find any sort of constant.”
“The mental health aspect that comes with the pandemic and isolation has been the hardest thing on my family.”
“Having to cancel plans to travel and plans to see family. We don’t live near our families, so that has been hard.”
“Honestly, for our family, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise in many ways. It caused us to pause, spend time together (rather than spending time together while we do something else). Our son had a mental health crisis three days before the schools went remote. The pandemic gave us so much time to pour into him and he’s in such a better head space now!”
“As a teacher, the stress of all things has been a struggle mentally and spiritually.”
“Virtual school with four children, one toddler and two parents working from home has definitely been challenging. Trying to keep everyone active and away from devices, eating healthy has also been hard.”
“Unpredictable employment. I’m a small business owner in a service-based industry. I had to mandatorily shut down. I’ve been allowed to re-open since May but there’s always talk of another shut down. My husband can work from home when needed, so that is a blessing.”
Even as the world shut down, planters, their families and their teams found ways to adapt to care for God’s people and share Christ’s love for their neighbor. Take a moment to pray for church planters in North America and their families as they continue the good work God has called them to.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – This article first appeared at the North American Mission Board’s SendNetwork.com. Republished by permission.)