How to be Like Christ in Crisis

March 15, 2020

David Sorn

As Covid-19 halts normal life in America, we discuss the important question of how Christians should respond.

How to be Like Christ in Crisis

March 15, 2020

David Sorn

As Covid-19 halts normal life in America, we discuss the important question of how Christians should respond.


David Sorn – Lead Pastor

I read online yesterday where someone suggested, “Have we tried unplugging 2020, waiting 10 seconds, and then plugging it back in?”

This year certainly hasn’t gone how we thought it would.

Even this week…things have changed so rapidly

A few days ago, when they said March Madness would be played without fans…that was shocking.

And now, here we are just a few days later.

All major sports seasons have been suspended.

Most colleges have sent kids home.

Many Kids all cross the country aren’t in school.

Mass gatherings have been stopped.

And here we are doing church online.

And you’re watching at home…in your pajamas…get dressed already.

But of course the situation is serious.

The coronavirus, or more accurately, COVID-19, is spreading all around the world, and now, there are thousands of cases here in the United States.

And more tragically yet, people are dying.


And so how should we respond?

People of course are responding in a whole range of different ways.

For some of you, your pulse hasn’t even gone up.

It hasn’t really affected you, you don’t expect it to, and you aren’t really bothered by it.

You’re not really a person that gets worked up by this kind of stuff.

And yet, there are other people on the opposite end of the spectrum, right?

There are people out there right now…stealing toilet paper from McDonald’s bathrooms.

And no, that’s not a good idea.

Some of you were like, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that”

And of course, your reaction to this, also really depends on how much the virus is personally affecting your livelihood right now.

Many of you have jobs that won’t be affected very much by this.

While others of you, this is going to drastically affect your life.

Maybe not even from a health standpoint, but from an economic standpoint.

For those of you in the service industry…or the many of you that can’t just “work from home,” these will be really trying times for your family.


So as Christians, how should we respond to what’s happening?

If we’re supposed to reflect Jesus, what should we look like in a crisis?

I want to give you 3 things we need to do if we’re going to look like Christ in a crisis.

How To Be Like Christ in a Crisis

#1: Trade your fear for faith

The Bible says this about fear

(2 Timothy 1:7) – NEW LIVING TRANSLATION!!!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

That verse means that as you press into God, and His Spirit, that He will not give you a spirit of fear.

Well, how does that work?

Well, it starts by bringing your worries to Him.

(1 Peter 5:7) – NIV

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Are you doing this?

Are you worried about your financial future?

Are you worried about getting sick? Or your kids getting sick? Or your elderly parents getting sick?

Friend, worrying won’t help you…it will only hurt you.

Jesus says it this way:

(Luke 12:25-26) – NIV

25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

So I want to encourage you to turn your worries into prayers.

Each time you feel anxiety creeping up…

Call it out.

Say, “This is just a worry…and worrying is worthless.”

It won’t do anything but work me up.

And do as the Bible says, “Cast your anxieties on God…because He cares for you”

Say, “Lord, I know you are in control.”

“I know you have a plan for me.”

“I know you love me.”

“I know you are bigger than this.”

One of my kids asked me this morning if we should be worried about the virus..

And I said buddy, “God is way bigger than the virus…we don’t have to worry”

Trade in your fear for faith.

One of the things I want to encourage you to do is to be reading the Bible every day.

Start with maybe one of the letters like Philippians.

If you don’t have a Bible, you can read it through our Renovation Church app.

It’ll be so helpful to you to hear God’s voice, through His Word.

There is so much noise right now, isn’t there?

If you spend all day listening to the news…and all day scrolling through social media…

The noise of it all will drown you in worry.

Unplug from it some, and let God speak His comforting truth into your life.

Trade in your fear for faith.

For those of you who already follow Christ, we ought to look REALLY different from the rest of the world here.

…In how you talk about this with your friends/co-workers OR in how you post on social media about it.

In times of uncertainty, Christians, must be dealers of hope.

We know that God has a plan.

God is still on the throne.

We’re going to get through this.

Deal some hope.


So we cannot fear.

Let me give you another way we need to look like Christ…in a crisis

How To Be Like Christ in a Crisis

#1: Trade your fear for faith

#2: Don’t completely isolate, but come “together”

Now, I know this is going to sound contradictory to health officials.

And I’m not saying you even need to physically (or literally) be next to each other….but you need to reach out to each other…

God created you to be supported by each other.

And isolation kills.

If you spend the next 4 weeks all by yourself…it will slowly break you down (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) .

Especially if you are single and live alone…or even just work from home for the next month.

Find ways to connect.

Jesus lived in community, and you were meant for community.

Thankfully this is 2020, not 1920.

We can still come “together” digitally.

I know it’s not the same, but it IS better than nothing.

Encourage each other daily through texting.

Facetime with each other…do a google hangout

Isolation is so dangerous.

I get that we have to have a measure of social distancing, but use the powers of technology available to you to keep connecting with people.

We can’t lose our sense of community.

And check in on those who are around you that you fear may be struggling in isolation.

Be there to listen to them…ask to pray for them.

And let’s not be crazy here either.

No one is saying yet that you can’t go see people.

The whole country is not in complete quarantine

If you and your friend are both healthy…get outside…go for a walk…talk and pray.

Yes, social distancing.

But don’t isolate to your own spiritual detriment either.


Let me give you a third thing we need to do as Christians, if we’re going to look like Christ in a crisis

How To Be Like Christ in a Crisis

#1: Trade your fear for faith

#2: Don’t completely isolate, but come “together”

#3: Don’t turn inward, turn outward

We cannot turn inward

In crisis, people’s natural tendency is always to turn inward.

To look out for #1…and to make sure, above all things, that “I’M okay.”

And this is what we’re seeing all over the country right now.

People are fighting each other…over toilet paper, and hand sanitizer.

People are going through the stores, hoarding up supplies…

While others in need can’t get what they need.

I saw a story from one of our own people this week that had a sick kid, and needed children’s Tylenol for their sick child.

But it was already all gone because were buying it in bulk…just in case.

Our FIRST inclination…too often is what do I need to survive…not, what do others need?

If we’re going to be like Christ…even in a crisis…we need to consider other people as more important than ourselves.

We say all the time as Christians that are to serve others and put them above ourselves…

And now, our belief in that will be truly tested.

Do you really believe that?

I pray that you do.

Listen to me…we need to be the ones that are saying on social media, or to our friends:

Who needs Toilet Paper?

I have extra…

Who needs medicine?

We have some…I can drive it over to you.

Who is stuck in their house and afraid to go out?

Let me help you.

Or maybe you know someone who is in the at risk population…and it’s not really that safe for them to go out.

Offer to go grocery shopping for them.

Or maybe someone in your house group, or in your neighborhood, is going to be hit hard financially during this time.

Offer to help in some way.

To watch their kids…to bring them meals.

Let’s be the church.

Listen to me, this is an opportunity for us to shine.

I believe that we are always glowing for Christ, but as the world gets darker, it oughta be easier for them to see us glowing.

If we want to look like Christ…even in a crisis.

We need to be the first ones to volunteer, to serve.

Jesus was always the first one to serve.

The first one to wash the feet of others.

That needs to be us now.

There’s a fascinating book by Rodney Stark, called “The Rise of Christianity,” that I think is helpful here.

Stark is a sociologist who specializes in religion, so he has spent his life studying religious movements.

His book is about how in the world Christianity grew from this tiny movement in the backwoods of the Roman Empire to become the main religion of the Roman empire in just a few hundred years.

How did that happen?

And he tries to answer it, not from a spiritual perspective (it was God!), but from a rational, sociological perspective

And in his book, he has an entire chapter just on epidemics and plagues.

And he shows that it was in the plagues that Christian conversions grew exponentially.

In the first few hundred years after Jesus, epidemics would often reach cities or regions, and the pagans would always flee the city.

Most of the Roman Empire was pagan…that is, they worshipped the gods of Greek & Roman Mythology

And these pagans would flee when the epidemics hit their city…often leaving behind friends, neighbors, even close family members to die.

Because paganism is about using a “god” or to improve your own life.

But the Christians stayed

Because Christianity is about loving others first…putting them before yourself

And the Christians tried, as best as they could, to serve their city…and love people in crisis.

Because they strongly believed that’s what Jesus would do…that He wouldn’t run.

Jesus taught us, when we see people hurting, not to just walk by and say, “Well, I’ve got a lot going on, I’ve got to look out for #1”

But to put others first.

And so it was actually in epidemics, in viral spread, that thousands upon thousands, first got to see the love of Christ in action…and eventually gave their own lives to Christ.

This is an incredible opportunity for us to shine.

This is a chance for us to prove that our God is real…

And to demonstrate it not just through our words, but through our lives.

Let’s not waste this opportunity in fear, or in complete isolation, or in selfishness.


And as we serve people and put them first…let’s point them to something bigger.

So much of people’s fear right now comes from the fact that, deep down, they are uncertain about what happens after death.

They’re fearful about dying.

But as Christians, we can have confidence and leave worry at the door, because we know that our lives are secure in Christ.

We know, that even if things should get out of control, and we were to lose our lives, that we will spend eternity in heaven with Christ.

And I want you all to be able to know that.

Maybe you’re watching this today, and you don’t normally even go to church.

I want you to know that the Bible teaches that God loves you.


And you can invite Him into your life today…and He will come in and save you.

I encourage you to do that.

All right, let me pray as we close the message.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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