We're all facing disruption right now. Coronavirus and COVID-19 have radically altered our daily lives, and we're doing our best to be flexible as we adjust to a new normal. But amidst anxiety and disorientation, one thing is certain—we're coming together even as we practice social distancing, whether it's in virtual spaces, in our homes, or as a world community. Christian community is just as important now as ever, so use these tips and resources to stay hopeful while we're together at home.
Build a New Kind of Community
It's so easy to feel isolated as we work from home and pivot our gatherings to virtual spaces. Here are some ways to build an intentional community from the safety of our own homes.
- Utilize technology to gather and stay in contact with your loved ones and social groups. Try Zoom, Marco Polo, or Skype.
- Start a virtual book club. Chances are you have more time to read right now, so grab that book you've been meaning to get to and invite your friends to do the same! Many IVP books have free discussion guides for just that purpose. Need book ideas?
- Support small businesses by taking some time to write reviews of products and services you love on their websites and places like Yelp, Goodreads, and Amazon.
- Love your neighbor through social distancing. It feels counterintuitive to stay away from those in need when we have time to help. But staying a safe distance away is putting a priority on your community's health.
- Act with compassion as you make decisions for your business or organization. It's hard to know how to move forward when there are so many unknowns. Let compassion and care for people be your guiding ethic.
- Be kind to those who are marginalized or mistreated. Don't give into ignorant cultural assumptions or forget about the most vulnerable among us.
- Listen to the first episode of IVP author Mae Elise Cannon's new #Activism podcast, "#COVID19 and Racism with Kathy Khang."
- Listen to "I am Not a Virus!" from the Someday Is Here podcast, featuring Seana Reavis, Eugene Cho, Judy Wu Dominick, and IVP Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives Helen Lee.
- Watch this Good Morning America piece about how IVP author Terence Lester and his organization Love Beyond Walls is teaming up with Christian rapper Lecrae to provide portable hand washing stations for those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta.
Equip Your Church for Refreshed Discipleship
The church has an unprecedented opportunity to provide hope, teaching, and community during this time. We want to equip local congregations and ministry teams with the resources they need to do just that.
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Commit to Reading Your Bible Like Never Before
This is the perfect opportunity to refresh your daily devotionals with increased focus and time. Use these resources for deeper Bible study.
- Use IVP's Daily Quiet Time Bible Study. With a new reading and Scripture study every day, this is a great place to start each day's devotional time.
- Invest in a new daily devotional book. IVP has a wide selection of devotionals and resources for more informed Scripture study.
- Try a free study from one of our bestselling LifeGuide® Bible Studies, just in time for the Easter season.
- Listen to podcasts that supplement Bible study, like this one from IVP author Carmen Imes on the Bible.
- Read about how Scripture reading brought hope during a nine-day hospital quarantine for Juanita Rasmus, author of Learning to Be.
Get Creative with Your Kids
Are you suddenly a full-time caregiver and instant homeschooler? Here are some ideas for supporting the academic, emotional, and spiritual needs of your children.
- Start spiritual conversations and pray with your kids. You can watch this sample lesson from IVP author Jared Boyd from his book Imaginative Prayer.
- Encourage creativity—arts and crafts have no age limit! Taking a break from working at home will be welcome for adults in the house as well.
- Have family Bible story time. Reading the Bible together lays a spiritual foundation for your entire family and provides irreplaceable bonding time.
- Talk to them thoughtfully about this crisis. Need ideas for how to handle the tough conversations? Check out the Family COVID-19 Toolkit from the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College.
Invest in Your Mental Health
The loss of physical community and regular social spaces can greatly affect our mental health. It's important to be proactive about the possibilities of depression, anxiety, and isolation within our own spirits and for those in our community.
Try a New Spiritual Practice
Add to your toolkit of spiritual disciplines and try some new ones to help you grow closer to God in these unprecedented times.
- Watch videos that feature guided practices from experts. All you'll have to do is listen and invite God to move.
- Plan a personal retreat day. Usually it's hard to find solitude and silence. Take advantage of alone time to try a personal retreat.
- Focus on prayer—stressful times call for an increase in prayer!
- Try journaling to help you creatively sort out your thoughts and prayers during this time. You might be surprised which insights you'll discover when you put pen to paper.