Dear Church Family,
As a Team of Pastors, we are committed to communicate with you faithfully during this unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. We are committed to caring for you. We have sought counsel from countless people in our community. We have been in contact with local pastors, leaders at the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Louisville Regional Baptist Association, and even reporters from the television station at WDRB. We have paid close attention to the advice of health professionals and experts, and we have listened attentively to our duly elected government officials. Most importantly, we have diligently sought God’s wisdom through His Word and prayer.
I want you to know that “love for God and neighbor” (Matthew 22:36-40) has governed (and continues to govern) our decision-making process, and we believe that COVID-19 presents us with a unique opportunity to display our priority of love at Hurstbourne Baptist Church. Here are a few key points about that love:
- We Love Jesus.
- We are unashamedly committed to exalting Jesus Christ in every decision that we make at Hurstbourne Baptist Church. This includes the decisions that we make during times of pandemic. Jesus is our first love, and His Gospel is our central message. We want Jesus Christ to be exalted in every decision that we make. (1 Corinthians 10:31, 2 Corinthians 4:6, John 1:14, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 1 John 4:19, Luke 7:36-50.)
- We Love Our Church Family.
- Every member of Hurstbourne Baptist Church is a treasured gift from God. Every member is loved by GOD and therefore worthy of our focused prayer and intentional care. Practically, this means that we must be attentive to one another’s needs during times of pandemic.
- Our deacons have set a great example. This past Sunday, our pastors and deacons gathered together for a brief meeting. We created a strategy to reach out to every single member of our church who is most vulnerable to COVID-19 (age 60+). Each one of these at-risk members will receive a personal phone call, an expression of love and encouragement.
- We will also seek to discover any tangible needs that our senior saints have. Our intention in this effort is to love one another, pray for one another, care for one another, and bear one another’s burdens. We have members who are cooking meals and buying groceries for our most vulnerable members.
- We will continue to update our active prayer sheet, and we will email the prayer sheet to our resident members on Wednesday evenings. We don’t want to overlook anyone, so please communicate if there are needs that are currently going unmet. (John 13:34, 1 Corinthians 12:25, Galatians 6:2, James 1:27, James 5:16.)
- We Love Our City.
- Primarily, our love for Louisville means that we will share the Gospel of Jesus Christ freely and openly and intentionally (Matthew 28:18-20, John 3:16, Romans 10:9). We want our neighbors to know Jesus and find their highest joy and hope and life in Him. This is our Great Commission!
- Secondarily, our love for Louisville means that we seek the welfare of the city (Jeremiah 29:7). We want our community to thrive in every possible way, and that means we should be concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
- Finally, our love for Louisville means that we should submit to our duly elected leaders and health professionals as they urge us to avoid meeting, maintain social distance, and cooperate with their instructions. Romans 13:1-7 is crystal clear about our obligation as Christians to submit to governmental authorities – for the sake of conscience.
- On March 11, our governor urged Kentucky churches to cancel their weekend services to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
- On March 16, our president urged that all Americans should avoid public gatherings of 10 or more;
- Government leaders have repeatedly urged all people to take COVID-19 seriously, for the sake of those most at-risk for the disease;
- Therefore, your Team of Pastors urge you to submit to our government’s leadership during this COVID-19 outbreak.1 We believe this is our loving responsibility as Christians at this time.
Church family, thank you for the countless expressions of love and encouragement and support that you have shared with us these past few days. Your words of affirmation, your emails, and your text messages have been such a blessing.
On behalf of your Team of Pastors, we want you to know that we love you. We are unafraid. We are confident in the Lord.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have special needs during this time. We have a “Care Team” that is eager to serve you as best as possible.
Love in Christ,
1 We recognize that there are times when civil disobedience is biblically justified. Acts 5:17-42 represents a godly example of civil disobedience. On this occasion, the Apostle Peter declared to the Jewish council, “We must obey God rather than man” (5:29). Consequently, the Apostle Peter continued to preach the Gospel in spite of the orders of the Jewish council. However, our present COVID-19 situation is NOT an Acts 5:29 situation. If you have questions about any of this, please feel free to speak with one of your pastors.