Bakke Graduate University will host this 3rd party webinar on creating national initiatives that respond to global crisis situations. Missional Christian academics often find themselves in positions of influence to lead or assist leaders in responding to such crises.
This webinar on Thursday, 2 April 2020 at 1200 GMT will be led by David Boan, global WEA COVID-19 Task force leader, and will include short presentations from National Evangelical Alliance leaders who have created national initiatives in response to COVID-19 as well as peer discussion to brainstorm next steps for your own organization.
While Christians have responded well in the past to specific crises, what is not clear is how to initiate national leadership in the midst of a global pandemic such as COVID-19. In most cases, the primary medical, policy, and economic response to a global pandemic is under the authority of national governments and medical entities.
In nations most affected by COVID-19, evangelicals have issued public statements reminding members of key biblical insights, offering prayers, and encouraging their church members to obey government directives to not meet during this crisis. Many denominational leaders have provided practical resources to help move to live-streaming services and daily on-line prayer meetings.
Yet, is there anything else that a Christian leader can do? Is there anything else that Christian groups, and the public at large would desire Christian leaders to do during this crisis? Is there a unique role that Christian leaders can play to benefit their city and nation during this time?
Here’s the recorded webinar: https://vimeo.com/403365759.
Here are some matters to consider prior to attending:
1. National Evangelical Alliances (NEAs) who have responded the best were prepared beforehand for a situation such as this. They had updated contact lists for their members and trust relationships built over time. They had updated contact lists for other Christian groups, and media outlets along with trust relationships so when the crisis came, they did not waste time updating their contacts list and their public statements were received with the trust of time-proven wisdom and friendship. These lists and relationships were not accidental but a result of specific strategies these NEA’s implemented years beforehand. The best time to start these proactive strategies for the next crisis is now when the lack of those strategies are most apparent. This webinar is a good place to develop vision, next steps and even begin planning with ongoing GIL coaching to raise funds, update communication technologies, and develop relationship building strategies for NEA’s to be best prepared for future crises.
2. NEAs who have responded best partnered with experts in their network. No NEAs have the resources to provide all the services their members need, but they can find, curate, recommend and connect their members to experts that are most helpful during a crisis. The COVID-19 Church Summit in the link above is an excellent example of the US NEA partnering with the Humanitarian Disaster Institute of Wheaton College.
3. NEAs who have responded best understand their members are not just local churches. A NEA is often called upon to represent all evangelicals in their nation, not just those who are local churches and denominations who sign on as members. Building relationships, and even membership strategies with key evangelicals in government, health, businesses, media, arts and entertainment, education in addition to churches allows NEA’s to have relationships in the key sectors that are most needed during a time of crisis. These relationships also help a NEA to serve church members and better accomplish the seven NEA development indicators (see below). These indicators are also helpful for any Christian leaders who have been given a role of public influence in their city or nation.