4-15-20

Feeling the pressure of “stay-at-home” order?
Local Pastor has good advice

 

Pastor Danny Henderson – Harvest Fellowship Church in Jasper.

-Photo: Ruby Holton

The COVID-19 epidemic has touched each individual, each city, each country, no matter where you live. Economic recovery is vital to every country, state and city–globally.

Just as economic recovery is vital–so are the families that are being tested, stretched and pulled to the very core of their existence. Mothers and fathers out of work now find themselves homeschooling their children as patience grow thin, some not knowing where the next dollar is going to come from, where the next meal is going to come from.


Is the cure worse than the disease? No…but it is taking its toll on businesses and residents. For some the cure may indeed be worse than the disease, not only losing their livelihood, but their homes and families as well. Just as some businesses will not survive this, unfortunately some families will not. Domestic violence is on the rise as families are tested. Victims need to reach out for help.

 


Local Pastor Danny Henderson of Harvest Fellowship Church in Jasper has some great advice for those struggling mentally and physically during this unparalleled time in our recent history.


His hope is that we can come out of this and be smarter and wiser than we’ve ever been before.


“You’ve got to fight depression, anger and frustration,” Henderson stated. Be careful not to isolate yourself to the point that you’re not leaving the four walls of your home. We’re not told to stay indoors, he added, we are told to isolate. So go for a walk in your yard. Get some sunshine on your skin, we know there are a lot of health benefits to sunshine. There is a lot of spiritual help on the television. For example on Dish Network, channels 257-265 has a lot of different flavors of church and ministries. Plug in to that. Get outside your house, walk around, have a picnic in the yard with your children, with your family. You’ve got to fight depression, anger and frustration. Take charge of your thoughts, think positive and be willing to forgive. There is no one to blame. Human emotions, during a time of crisis or stress, trigger the blame game. And there is no one to blame for this.


God created us to be social creatures so naturally we sense something is missing when we don’t have that socialization.


Pastor Henderson said he is feeling it, “I miss socializing.” I’m bothered, for instance going to the grocery store, people don’t even want to talk to you. “With my personality, I’m always speaking to people, I’ll say, hey, how are you doing today, I wave at people.” But he is concerned because people are so fearful they don’t even want to speak to anyone when they are out. "I think we’ve got to combat that. I believe the Holy Spirit can help us combat that.” He added, but we’ve got to remember that we have to do something also. Don’t sit in one chair all day long watching the news, living in fear, allowing your anxieties to explode. Get a handle on it.


He recommends listening to the news for only 10 or 15 minutes a day. Get out of your house, walk in the yard or walk around your block. All of these things are permitted. “You just cannot let your mind stay within those four walls and let those walls close in on you.”


If you are in a situation of domestic violence, reach out for help. Call somebody. Report it. Talk to your clergy. If there is violence in the home, somebody has to reach out and ask for help. Help is out there, but you have to reach out for it. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your children, if you have them. Who is going to be their champion if not you?

 

Henderson also talked about the role of churches. “This pandemic should be a wake up call for pastors and church leaders. Personally, in order for me to lead a church successfully for God, I’ve got to be more than just a preacher. I’ve got to be knowledgeable in finance and budgeting. I have to have the ability to look ahead and forecast – what if we have a hurricane or a storm and our building is damaged and we can’t have church for a month or two. So we have budgeted emergency funding in the event these things happen. Although, we never thought we would be using it like this.”


He views this pandemic as an opportunity for the church to reach out where they normally don’t. It is in the darkest times of our life as well as the world the church has an opportunity to shine. He said, the darker the world gets the brighter the church should shine. Therefore if we can’t meet in our buildings we have to remember God called us out. He never called us in. God always commanded his church to go out.


"I would encourage churches to use every tool at their disposal, Facebook, radio and any means of communicating. Have service outside your building, following the rules and regulations."


Churches that stop ministry, churches that close down and wait for this to end may not fair well when this is over, not spiritually, financially and more important, mentally.

 

"My desire is when this ends we will never have church like we did before. We are using this opportunity to birth fresh ideas, expand the outreach of our church"


He said, certainly God will use this to get our attention. Perhaps we’ve been in a rut doing what we have been doing too long. We will realize we don’t have to go back doing the same old thing again.


He is looking forward to the day when they can go back to their church and have service in their building, but said he will never view service the same again. "We should have a greater appreciation when we get to go back."


“I would like to speak directly to every believer, regardless of their faith.” Henderson said, “What an opportunity this is for us to reach out in our neighborhoods, our family and friends. To be a missionary, an evangelist, God is not silent right now and we shouldn’t be silent either. Let’s maximize this opportunity that God has given us to reach out and minister to everyone we can touch, through the phone or social media, any means allowed."


Harvest Fellowship Church would like to invite everyone to attend their drive-in church service this Sunday at 10 a.m. The church is located at 5544 U.S. Highway 129 in Jasper.