COVID-19 Shouldn’t Stop Evangelism … But May Change It

By Matt Queen

Perhaps during the COVID-19 pandemic you’ve heard someone declare, “You can’t quarantine the gospel!”

“But how,” you ask, “can I share the gospel when my local, state, and federal authorities have ordered my family and me to stay at home and practice social distancing?”

Although this might be the first time in our lifetimes we’ve been ordered to stay in our homes, it certainly isn’t the first time Christ-followers have sought to share the gospel while locked down in their houses because of disease — or even locked up in prisons due to persecution.

As you question whether you can share the gospel while you’re sheltering-in-place, don’t forget the apostle Paul evangelized while he was “shackled-in-place” (Acts 28:16-31).

The Romans permitted him to live under house arrest while he awaited his appeal to Caesar.

Instead of using his supervised custody as an excuse not to evangelize, Paul capitalized on the opportunity to evangelize his visiting guests, as well as his personal Roman guard.

In fact, for two years he preached the gospel and taught about Jesus to everyone who came to visit him in his quarters.

Although we likely won’t be entertaining strangers and visitors in our homes during these days the way Paul did during his imprisonment, we should remind ourselves and be encouraged that we possess technological tools today that weren’t available to Paul.

These everyday devices and gadgets we own provide us an open door to share the gospel today, as well as create for our churches an effective launching pad to increase our evangelistic efforts whenever things return to normal.

Why you should share the gospel during this pandemic

Several factors should compel Christians to share the gospel during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the nature of the gospel is such that it doesn’t shelter — it scatters!

Read the book of Acts. Survey the history of the church. Believers, by the power of the Holy Spirit, have faced every kind of obstacle, and their determination to evangelize anyway resulted in greater gospel expansion.

Believers also have probably never had a greater platform than at this propitious moment in time, both to display and to give a reason for their hope in the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why? Because unbelievers probably have never been more willing both to listen and to consider the gospel of our Lord Jesus than during this health crisis.

The spread of COVID-19 has convinced the world to consider the imminence of death and the purpose of their lives. The gospel provides the only satisfying answer to these contemplations concerning the body and the soul.

How you can share the gospel during this pandemic

Believers have numerous opportunities and venues to evangelize while sheltering-at-home.

One of these venues includes Christians utilizing media-based evangelism platforms and leveraging their social media account(s) for the sake of the gospel.

Media-based evangelism organizations like NeedHim Global allow Christ-followers to share the gospel over the phone or through chat rooms with unbelievers who call or visit looking for spiritual hope in their physical despair.

Using video apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and TikTok also provides opportunities to share the gospel.

For instance, you can record your testimony of salvation with an explanation of how viewers can receive Jesus Christ through repentance, belief, and a verbal confession of Christ’s lordship.

You also can live-stream content on Facebook that interests would-be viewers and share the gospel with them at an opportune time during the show.

Popular and interesting livestreams include life-hack tutorials that help viewers cope with and adapt to life during the pandemic.

Some of these tutorials include how to make homemade masks, how to search and locate hard-to-get retail items, or recommendations on how to educate your children at home successfully .

If you or your spouse can play an instrument and sing well, hosting a livestream concert or sing-a-long also have interested and garnered viewers recently.

How churches can share the gospel after this pandemic

Churches’ creative responses to social distancing limitations , as well as unbelievers’ search for spiritual answers, have created some positive side effects of the recent pandemic.

As cities and states begin to relax their coronavirus restrictions, churches should not go back to “business as usual” when it comes to the gospel and evangelism.

Instead, to bolster their efforts going forward, they should review and assess the lessons they’ve learned and the successes they’ve had in terms of spreading the gospel.

For example, churches that include evangelistic invitations in their worship services might exercise their newfound ingenuity to provide additional options for people to respond, such as allowing respondents to text-message their spiritual decision to request a follow-up visit.

Also, some churches that have provided online worship service videos to their congregants have experienced significant viewership, eclipsing even the number of people who attended on-campus worship services before the pandemic.

Congregations should explore purchasing equipment and software that will produce high-quality streaming or recording of their future on-campus worship services, and ensure that every published video includes a gospel presentation and invitation, along with a way for respondents to contact the church for follow-up and counsel.

Finally, self-quarantining isolation has created a longing for community and personal interaction with others. The most nurturing and healthy form of community is provided by churches!

Because the gospel serves as the door for anyone to enter the family of faith, churches must intentionally practice evangelism both inside and outside their buildings.

Believers also will find people more willing to have conversations as they return to public life. What better conversation can they initiate than one that includes the good news of Jesus Christ?

This post originally appeared at LifeWay Pastors.,

Published May 15, 2020

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Matt Queen

Matt Queen (@DrMattQueen) serves as Associate Dean, Associate Professor, and L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism (“The Chair of Fire”) in the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He is married to Hope and has two daughters, Madison and Matia. He and his family are members of Lane Prairie Baptist Church, Joshua, Texas.