Dr. Ed Young Sr., Senior Pastor at Second Baptist Church, shares that now is the time for congregations to seize the opportunity to be a church outside of their buildings and make an impact during COVID-19.
"...we’re discovering we’re not buildings. The church is out in the world and looser now as never before and we’re going to be better followers of Christ, I believe, because of this..."
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Hello, I'm Tommy Rosson with Houston Responds. And today I'm absolutely honored that Dr. Ed Young with the Second Baptist Church is joining us today. Thank you so much for joining us.
Privileged to be here, Tommy, to be a part of your ministry.
Thank you. And you know, I got to hear you earlier today on a call and your message was so inspiring and so passionate about how this is such a great, unique time. I wonder if you could just hop in and, and just tell us a little bit more about that.
We've been through flood and hurricanes and typhoons and everything else and always when these S.O.S. moments happen, I think it's God's opportunity. Always mine in your extremity is always God's opportunity. And it’s time for the church to be a church. And we're not buildings. We are outside the building and that's what the church is really all about. So what we did right up front in our church family to say, Lord, how can we make a difference? What should we do? So immediately we said it’s an opportunity to call all of our members. So our staff started calling. Now we have probably over 900 of our members we trained and they're calling everybody else and they're asking two questions, you know, what can I do to help you? May I help you anyway? And number two, I want to pray for you. Is there any specific prayers for you and for your family. And Tommy, it's been staggering. It has been staggering. We have something like 84,000 members in metropolitan Houston and we've called maybe a little over half of our membership and we're still at the task. And those who are calling, the response we're getting, we're running into needs and people. It's just been phenomenal. As result of that, our online services have set records in attendance. So in the middle of this Corona crisis we're having more people go to church than ever before.
Well, they, I mean that's the crazy thing, which is if we could figure out how to make sure we connect with them, there's going to be a lot of spiritual needs going on.
Oh, it's just amazing to us. And so I think our calling, our availability and now we have begun so many projects, well, you know, people need food. People need people to think of the hospital. People need groceries. So we're trying to fill in the gaps, particularly for our seniors and those who have medical conditions and they're, they're desperate and we've run into a situation after situation. We put a hotline in where they can call. They can certainly email us or text us anyway they want to communicate. We're just saying, here is your family of faith. We want to pray for you and how can we help you. In the process, we're making mass. We probably have, now I'm going to guess 400 or 500 of our women are sewing. We call them the Courageous Sewers and they're making masks. We made one delivery to Ben Taub and we're going to have thousands of other masks we think by the end of the week. I don’t know, maybe by tomorrow we'll have, I don't know, 5,000 masks made and we're going to distribute those. Not so much to the people on the front line, but to those who go see them, family, friends, et cetera. So we think a mask, and now I think the disease people figured out, will help all of us at this moment. So we're making masks, we're trying to do ministry in the lives of these and plus our kids.
And the other fact Tommy, that really hits me, the judge said today, say, what are we going to do with this time? What a fabulous time for a father and mother to go to school with their kids. What else couldn't bring that into being? And the teachers, I've talked to some of them, they're loving it. The parents are overwhelmed and now the parents are buying into the classroom of their kids. And that is, that's invaluable to the school and to the kids. Plus time spent. What about you? Maybe you said your wife, well now I have time I'm going to clean the garage. Guess what Tommy? You've got time and to spend quality time with your kids without all the conflicts that they have going and coming and meeting and activities and music and athletics, that's all shut down. Now it's just mom and dad and the kids and the family. And we would ask for this and boy, I wish there'd be a time we could really be left alone. This is the moment and our families are thrilled. I can't tell you what's happening now. There's been some conflict here, but it's good to get that resolved. And this is a healing time, I think for America. And I pray for the world in this S.O.S. moment. So we've approached it as opportunity for the church to be the church and for Christians to really worship in a way we've never worked before. In greater numbers than we've ever worshipped before. We'd never had a hundred thousand plus in church in any one service. We're experiencing there and we're floored and thrilled and trying to make a difference to anybody. They don't have to be a member of our church. Anybody anywhere in the name of the Lord.
That's great. That's wonderful. Tell me a little bit about, just as you think about, you know, in Houston we're used to going through these, you know, moments. You know, our, my, my pastor down here in Clear Lake will say, don't waste your disaster because we get them. So what's your message to other churches into pastors in this moment?
Well, I'll just say, first of all, mobilize your membership. Call all your membership and you're going to ask them those two questions. How many we have, may I pray for you? And I can guarantee you, a lot of them will say, you know, I don't need anything, but how can we help the church? So we've enlisted them to be a part of our calling team. We've enlisted them to be part of our ministries that we have going on, groceries, et cetera. And so, they now are making a difference.
The church doesn't, you know, get in the fetal position. This is a time for the church to expand. And Tommy, historically this had been true. How did the church grow in the first century, for example? And about the third or fourth century a Constantine said the whole Roman Empire is now Christian. What happened when we were persecuted? What were the things that took place or two or three things? Number one, there were two plagues that happened about 126 and 250 and the pagans all ran. They left all their temples, they isolated themselves, they moved out. The wealthy people moved out of Rome and Alexandria and Antioch, all the cities. What did the Christians do? They stayed and they ministered to those who had the plague in both of these two great plagues and they, and the truth is the plagues that have covered in history even today in history, two thirds of people would get well if they had nursing; food, water, soup, care. The Christians provide that. All of a sudden, all the other pagan religions, they were illegitimated. The temples were empty. They went out of business.
This is a moment for the Lord God Almighty and for the church. And as that was the spark that all of a sudden people said, these Christians are real. They have a relationship with Jesus Christ. They're therefore filling all the things a cup of cold water. I was sick and you visited me and they, they understood I'm my brother's keeper. And so the pa