How To Handle The Impact COVID-19 Can Have On Your Ministry?

We were stuck in our house for a full week. At first, the ability to binge-watch Netflix was a treat, but there is only so much television until you start to experience cabin fever. We were stuck because of a mega snowstorm that hit Maryland. We weren’t the only ones snowed in; in fact, there was so much snow that parish activities (Including Mass) were canceled. It caused us as a youth ministry to change some of our plans.

While the weather outside is improving, many of us are facing a separate situation that could impact our programs. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every industry, including the local church, and it can leave many of us wondering, “What should we do?”

COVID-19 could shut down your ministry; however, even if it doesn’t, it’s important to develop a plan. After all, life happens from a snowstorm to the death of a teen or some other community impacting event. No matter the situation, you need to be adaptable and embrace change by:


If you and your team aren’t on the same page, it can not only create chaos but distrust. People are going to look to you for guidance, and if your team is sending out conflicting information, it’s not going to help them.

If you are the leader, seek input and insight from your team. Gather the information they are learning and make your decisions based on their feedback. Go over the plan for communication and make sure everyone is clear on what to say to the congregation. Disagreements are allowed to happen, but they need to be done on one and not out in the open. Unity can provide people with hope, and it will help them trust you.


Nothing beats in-person interaction; however, there are advancements in technology that can help you keep the ministry going, even if people aren’t mobile. If you want small groups to check out virtual hangouts (e.g. Groupme). If you are looking to stream a message or service, there is affordable software (e.g. Zoom). And don’t forget email marketing (e.g. Mailchimp) can help you get the word out to your members.

Situations like snowstorms and pandemics like COVID-19 can isolate people, fight it by using technology to connect with those who are not near. Your efforts will let your teens and their families know how much you care.


It’s during times like these when you can find a little margin. That margin is an opportunity to think about the future of your program. What do you want to do differently? What changes should you make to grow the ministry? Think about the talks you can write, the leaders you can recruit, and the emails you can respond to while your regular activities are on hold. Take the time your given to think about the future.


You might not have all the answers, and that’s okay. While you don’t have to communicate with them the detailed plan, you should give them a heads up on what to expect. Even if it’s just telling them, “We’re discussing the current situation.” It lets them know that you are taking their concerns seriously. Whatever you do, don’t go silent.


It’s during these seasons where it’s easy to feel tested. Frustration sets in when we have to face constant change and not know the outcome. When you trust God, He’ll provide you with peace. Find the time to sit with Him and encourage your team to do the same.

I hope that the COVID-19 will pass without any more disruption, and even if it does, we still need to prepare for situations where life happens. Trust God, communicate with your team, and move with the change.

How does your ministry stay adaptable during seasons of the unknown?

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