Pastors of African Descent address COVID-19 issues at virtual conference



  • Church & pastoral health

The Pastors of African Descent, a Converge ministry, held a virtual conference January 28 for pastors and leaders to address, answer and discuss critical issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers at the Surviving Post-COVID-19 conference included:

  • Dr. Anita Phillips, trauma therapist and life coach
  • Nona Jones, head of Faith-Based Partnerships at Facebook
  • Pastor James Meeks, Salem Baptist Church of Chicago
  • Scott Ridout, Converge president
  • Pastor John Jenkins, First Baptist Church of Glenarden

The conference workshops and Q&A’s addressed these topics:

  • Dealing with and handling stress during COVID-19 (Dr. Anita Phillips). “We’re not responsible as leaders just for crisis management; we’re responsible for crisis leadership.”
  • How to minister in a virtual environment and build a budget-friendly social media audience for ministry (Nona Jones). “Did Jesus call us to gather people in a building, or did he call us to go out into the world? … If church only happens in a building, you’re missing 80% of the people.”
  • How do you shepherd the flock through the COVID-19 pandemic? (James Meeks). “A shepherd’s (pastor’s) primary job is the welfare of his sheep. People who love Jesus take care of his sheep.”
  • Converge and biblical diversity (Dr. Michael Henderson and Scott Ridout). “Diversity does not mean that we are not to be one. It means that we express God’s glory in different ways, but we still have the same purpose and pursuits.” — Dr. Michael Henderson
  • Strategies for a post-COVID-19 relaunch: Measuring fingerprints vs. footprints (John Jenkins). “If all you can focus on is the physical gathering and the worship experience with your church, we’ve missed the mark of what the church should be about.”

Dr. Fred Obleton, senior pastor, Waukegan Community Church, Waukegan, Illinois, and director of Pastors of African Descent, presided over the conference. Dr. Michael Henderson, senior pastor, New Beginnings Church, Matthews, North Carolina, and vice president of Converge National Ministries, served as moderator. First Baptist Church of Glenarden led worship.

Here are more resources to help your church respond and lead through the coronavirus pandemic. View resources >

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