Converge responds: Coronavirus

Scott Ridout

Former Converge President

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Yesterday I flew from Orlando to Denver to participate in Converge Rocky Mountain’s annual meeting, Together to Transform. As I found my seat, I struck up a conversation with the flight attendant. I commented on how unusual it was to have a flight that was not full.

“Yesterday, we had a full plane," she replied. "But about a third of the passengers canceled out of fear of the virus.”

Her comments reminded me of two things:

First, we are not a people of fear…we are a people of faith. Yes, in this season, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise in many parts of the world, there is wisdom in making changes to limit exposure to this disease. However, as followers of Christ, we can’t allow our fears to drive our decisions and control our lives.

Second, the faith of Christians has always shone brightest in our response to a crisis. This present challenge is another opportunity to show that our faith is real, practical and effective.

I close this conversation by sharing Converge Northwest executive minister Nate Hettinga’s encouragement to his district, one of the first areas in our country to be impacted.

Pastors & leaders,
Not long ago, the eyes of the world were focused on Wuhan, China, as the virus, now known as COVID-19, began to spread. In recent days, the center of the coronavirus storm in America has been Kirkland, Washington. Our Converge Northwest office has received numerous questions and requests for resources/perspective as each leader and church is responding to the disease.

I’ve collected a few examples that illustrate how Converge Northwest leaders are responding. The most comprehensive is from Northshore Community Church. They are literally in the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak and have done a masterful job of thinking through the issues, communicating effectively, establishing new policies and finding avenues of outreach. I highly recommend that you read All Things Coronavirus from Northshore’s communications team.

Another example of a congregational letter is from Pastor Keith Krell at Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue, Washington.

These are the moments that define who we are and in WHOM we trust. Take care of your family, lead by faith and communicate clearly to your people. I’m praying that Jesus will give you strength and compassion as you lead by faith.

May God give us the wisdom to know the right thing to do and the courage to do it.

Scott Ridout, Former Converge President

Scott served as president of Converge from November 2014 through August 2022. Prior to that he was the director of generosity for Converge from 2007-2014, concurrently with his time pastoring at Sun Valley in Gilbert, Arizona, for 22 years. He serves on the boards of Axelerate, Bethel University and The Timothy Initiative. Scott also serves the Finish the Task initiative working with denominations worldwide. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 1988 and have three adult children, Jon, Ashlyn and David. He loves God, the local church and simply wants to help people meet, know and follow Jesus.

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