COVID-19: Second Baptist Church is Seizing this Unique Opportunity to Truly be the Church

Updated: Apr 24



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..."

Resources Mentioned:

Second Baptist Church

Channel 11 (KHou)

Channel 2 (Click2Houston)

TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network)

Day Star

HoustonResponds.org/covid-19


Transcript:

Tommy Rosson:

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.


Ed Young:

Privileged to be here, Tommy, to be a part of your ministry.


Tommy Rosson:

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.


Ed Young:

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.


Tommy Rosson:

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.


Ed Young:

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.


Tommy Rosson:

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?


Ed Young:

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 pagans had no philosophy of that. Not at all. And therefore, by the way, more Christians lived in this. You say, well, why was that? The pagans already had a decadent lifestyle. They had disease. They were obese. They were, they had no sense of morality and no sense of cleanliness and the Christians by our own basic at that Jesus taught us a Paul elaborated on, we were clean. We cared. We love. We had family. We had morality. The pagans inhabit so upfront they were more susceptible to these diseases, killing them. And so just imagine being in a, in an ancient city or just imagine Houston and we were seeing hundreds and hundreds of bodies. They saw them going out on those carts every single day. You'd take a timeout and say, am I going to be next? How does this affect life? What is going on? And you'd ask, is there a God? If there is a God, what is he doing? And the Christians were there when the Christian would die. You saw something else. They have graduated to go and be with the Lord. This will celebrate Easter by the way. And then the pagan says there's no hope. And so, they saw in the message of Christ and in the ministry of Christ, sons and daughters and brothers and sisters, that was the salt the light the leaven that really led Christianity to be the dominant force in the Roman Empire. Interesting.


Tommy Rosson:

Oh, it's great. It's hard for me not to sit here and say amen five times, but the camera would switch back to me. So I'm so I, Oh, that's great stuff. You know, it's two things that I, that I take out of that that's interesting is first and foremost, you know, in the season everybody is so focused about making sure they're online and getting their services. And though that's important for us to be participatory in some way with our, with our body. But so much of what we're talking about has absolutely nothing to do with technology other than a phone that was developed a hundred years ago. So it's really about relating.


Ed Young:

And the great thing about everybody's home. We call people, we email people, they don't get well now they're home and that the response that is worth you can't you put a price tag to it? So we're touching people that had been untouchable for a long, long time and they're listening and they're open and many of them will say, pray for me about my marriage, my kids and addiction, my brother, my sister, my mother. And so now we're seeing the power of the church manifested in a crisis. It's a fabulous opportunity for the kingdom. And I heard that call today, all the medical statistics that you can get online anytime you want it or listen to any television broadcast. But boy, the church, if the pastors and the Christians don't see this as opportunity, my, my, my it's a fabulous moment for the Kingdom.


Tommy Rosson:

Absolutely. Then you think about on top of just what it's like for us to normally go through crisis and we know what it's like with the flood. We know what it's like to deal with some of those issues, but now we're going to tack on top of it massive financial issues that this is not, this is not going to be a short term thing. So our community is going to be asking so many questions in so many of those deep questions as they go through this. How do you advise the members of Second Baptist Church to, to really lean into that?


Ed Young:

Well, first of all, we need to get back to work. I think that's going to happen. You can look at Korea and they all went back. They wore masks. You can look at many of them in Japan, they're wearing masks and all of that has slowed down with spreads. They have basically I think topped out. So that's a good thing. The economic factor is very, very interesting. And the offerings of our church, we're down maybe 15% is all I would say. That's because I think we're saying as we go online, we're saying thank you for standing with us. Thank you for making a difference here. We still want to do ministry as to what we're about and that those who are in the church and a lot of people are stepping up and saying, you know, I know it's a tough time and they're writing a check, they would not write. So, we're seeing a lot of that is God's people. And notice Tommy, it's God's people, isn't it amazing? It's organized religion. What a terrible thing. I haven't seen this organized religion do much. Have you? Have you seen all the pagans standing up doing very much. Some of them that are rich may tip people $1 million or so, but they're not putting their life and their energy on the line. So I would say God will take care of the response, the economic part of this. That's not something that we, we major on. But I will say, I think maybe our economy would possibly come back stronger than ever before because we'd be more appreciative of what we have and how we use it for God and for his kingdom. So you know, I don't know how this is going to spin out, but I know that churches that use it for the kingdom, boy, God is going to bless those churches and a lot of people have come to Christ. For example, online, we have a way you can join our church and we saw this happen this week. We saw many people pray and come to a family of God. They see the need for fellowship, the need for ministry, and they see the churches. What else is there? What end did you go do? Are the educators going to make a difference or is the government going to step in? Well, the body of Christ will be there and it's the only body is going to be existing when we graduate and go to heaven anyway. It's the eternal kingdom in miniature on this earth.


Tommy Rosson:

That's great. And then also you, you, you have this season where checking in on our neighbors and checking in on those in our community and just, you know, just relating, there's going to be so much emotional care needs out there with so many these families, it's going to make a big difference.


Ed Young:

Big. That's so important. What you're saying. Just to say hello, I care. You know, if you call me and said, Ed, how are you Lisa doing at this time and we would tell you, and I'd say, any of you want to pray for me, pray for this, or you have a need? Well I do need somebody to ...blank. And there's so many things there. Take me to the doctor. I need some groceries, I need, I, I'm having emotional problems. I'm depressed. We put them online face time with a counselor. So we're discovering, you know, we're, we're not buildings. The church is out in the world and loose now as never before and we're going to be better followers of Christ. I believe Tommy, but because of this S.O.S.


Tommy Rosson:

Dr. Young, tell me a little bit about what you're doing for Easter. You've got some unique things.


Ed Young:

Well, we're online and all of our services, Easter as we have been throughout this Corona crisis. But we're going to have an Easter sunrise service and that's going back in time. We haven't done that in a long time. We're going to do it with cars. We have six campuses where we ask everybody to drive to the campuses at sunrise. I don't know what time sunrise is on Easter. Whatever time it is. I don't know yet. And we'll be there for about 30 minutes. We'll have a prayer service there in our cars. No problems with kids having to get out and move. Just go to the car with your family, we're going to pray for our nation, pray for our world, pray for the Easter services that will follow. So that's one thing that we're going to do.

But even before that, let me say about Good Friday. We're going to ask all the families who now are at home, the father or the mother to take and break the bread and drink the cup. And we'll have the Lord's supper together online. I don't know how that's going to work, Tommy. But I think that is absolutely biblical, as we remember the broken body and the shed blood that we celebrate on Good Friday. So we're going to do that. And then Easter, we'll not have people gathering to worship, but there'll be at home and we're trying to put out online everything we're going to be doing. We are going to be on channel 11 and channel two from 10:30 until 11:30. Also on, on TBN and Day Star. We had the privilege of doing that and we'll have Veritas. You know, that group, we hope they'll be with us. So we're going to keep all the distancing and we'll speak to empty auditoriums. But we know a lot of people will be celebrating the fact that because he lives, we are in Christ. We'll live too. And what a timely message for this moment in the life of the world.


Tommy Rosson:

Just such a wonderful word from you. And I'm so thankful for the way that Second Baptist has just consistently led, not only just in the gospel, but has led in and just loving our community during these seasons and been so upfront with that and your resources.


Ed Young:

Well, God is good and we just try to be faithful and to whom he has called us to become, to be a part of his body, the church, in the world. See the church, as you know, is the arms and eyes and minds of the Lord Jesus Christ. So we're just to perform at all times, but especially when the bottom falls out as Jesus would. That's our calling. That's what we want to do.


Tommy Rosson:

Well, thank you so much for joining me today. It's been a privilege to have you.


Ed Young:

Well, it's a privilege to be with you, Tommy, and I think you've got a very strategic ministry. And I hope not that we do everything right or perfect, we miss a lot of things, but I think it'll inspire, maybe inform some churches, to really say, you know, this is a moment and we don't want to miss the moment.


Tommy Rosson:

That's great. And we're hearing that from so many church leaders. So church leaders, if you're looking for other resources, other Faith Leader Insights or tools, we update HoustonResponds.org/covid-19 with all the information you need, as many tools as we can get out there. And then great insights from faith leaders. So join us in that community.


Additional COVID-19 resources for congregations available here.

SUBSCRIBE to our e-news for updates, resources and more.

  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle

CONTACT A COALITION

CLICK HERE to find your Houston Responds coalition to contact directly.

© Copyright 2020 | Houston Responds is a 501 (c)(3). 

CONTACT HOUSTON RESPONDS
PHONE: 281-201-3999