Crisis has a way of causing us to reflect deeply on the things in life that we hold dear to our hearts. In many instances, crisis reveals that some of the things we’ve been holding on to perhaps weren’t really that important, and the aspects of life we relegated to the corner were actually crucial to our personal growth.
Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, amidst all the community work and church readjusting they’ve had to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, was reminded that their community desperately needed faith more than they realized.
“I’m hearing this sentiment a lot from a lot of people,” said Aaron Brockett, lead pastor. “They’re saying something that I’ve really never heard from our people before. They’re saying, ‘We need you.’”
Prior to the pandemic, there was a tainted view of the church—one of irrelevance and disinterest. Now Brockett and Traders Point are encouraged by what they’re experiencing.
“Crisis actually reveals that we were made to worship something, and all of the things that we worship just got stripped from us,” Brockett said. “There’s no sports. There’s no entertainment. The economy is being trashed. Even our self-reliance has been taken away because we’re all on lockdown. Everybody’s idols have been stripped away. People are realizing that they do need faith more than they thought.”
In addition, the way the church served the community also played a role in drawing people back. Their level of intimate outreach has made a great impact.
“We’ve done food donations,” Brockett noted. “But we have really tried to mobilize all of our small group leaders to call on people and to provide care packages. We’ve got people that are paying each other’s utility bills, getting prescriptions, and buying groceries for those that are on forced quarantined and the elderly.”
Even when Traders Point was given an opportunity to serve in a bigger way, they still kept their means of service at a relational level. Brockett recently worked with one of his small group participants (a doctor at a local hospital) to purchase 235,000 KN95 masks. Traders Point gave $100,000 to help purchase the masks and acted as the point organization to rally 13 other churches in Indiana.
“I’ve got a doctor in my small group, and I told him that I had 32,000 masks in my garage,” he explained. “I asked if he could use them. He told me that there was a local hospital that was down to about five days’ worth of supplies and 2,100 masks will get them through the next month.”
As Brockett and Traders Point begin to look toward the future, they’ve realized that this crisis positively catalyzed them in a direction they were already going.
“To me, all that the crisis has done is accelerated where we were really headed anyway,” he said. “I don’t think physical gatherings are going away because we’re social beings. But it’s caused us to reevaluate our stewardship of our resources. The mission of the church hasn’t changed. Circumstances have changed. And if history tells us anything, we weather pandemics.”
Brockett believes the crisis has a way of refining churches, saying, “Crisis reveals your strengths and your weaknesses, exposing some of the things that you were holding on to a little too tightly that you shouldn’t have been. It’s exposing, maybe, our level of comfort that had turned into apathy.”
And the way a church responds to a crisis will determine its longevity.
Traders Point Christian Church is one of 150 churches across the country who are part of the CDF Capital network and eligible for the Church Assistance Program (CAP-19). CAP-19 will enable any church with a current CDF Capital mortgage or construction loan to obtain penalty-free financial support in one of two ways: 6 months/interest only or six months of payments reduced by 33 percent This unprecedented program during an unprecedented time is a first in CDF’s 67-year history. With over $550 million in loans, CDF Capital will offer in excess of $5.25 million in relief.
“This is not a time for the church to retreat, it is a time for the church to advance. And we intend to help them do that,” said Dusty Rubeck, president of CDF Capital. “As the world adjusts to the spread of COVID-19 and Americans adjust to the realities of social distancing, the need for the church and for spiritual strength is magnified. Our commitment is to provide transformational capital to churches because our mission is to help churches grow.”
CDF Capital hopes that by offering relief to churches like Traders Point Christian Church that they will be empowered to not only serve their church attendees, but their surrounding communities in response to COVID-19.
The only requirement for CDF Capital’s borrowing churches to participate in CAP-19 is that they must complete and submit a CAP-19 Financial Contingency Plan that describes the impact of COVID-19 on their congregation, as well as how they plan to respond.
During this time of crisis nationwide and around the globe, CDF Capital is encouraging individuals who are in a position to help churches to do so directly through their local churches. CDF Capital is also asking everyone to join them in praying for the church and government leaders as they navigate COVID-19.
For more information about the CAP-19 program and ways in which you can be involved, visit www.cdfcapital.org/cap-19/