With a desire to love our neighbors as ourselves and an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community amidst a global pandemic that is affecting our city, all MBC worship gatherings are moved online until further notice. Please plan to worship online this Sunday at mcleanbible.org at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, or 5 pm, and invite others to join us, as well. Each week we sing together, pray together, and hear what God’s Word says about freedom from fear, peace over anxiety, joy amidst sickness, and life that conquers death. In addition, we share important information about countless opportunities we have as a church to make God’s love known in our city and around the world during these days. Needless to say, you don’t want to miss these Sunday gatherings online!
In addition, all MBC buildings (at all of our campuses) are closed until further notice. The only exceptions to this are for staff and/or volunteers whose work necessitates being at the building, including those who are working on key initiatives across our city during this time (more information below). All other groups which normally meet on Sundays and during the week are encouraged to explore alternate means of staying closely connected with one another. For more information on individual ministries and/or meetings, please contact your ministry leader.
Our goal in these decisions, as in everything we do, is to glorify God as biblically and wisely as possible. By God’s design according to God’s Word, the church thrives on gathering together face-to-face as we love one another, care for one another, and encourage one another by doing things like singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another. As much as we are thankful for technology that allows for us to do many of these things online, a biblical picture of a church prioritizes being together in person. This is why Christians around the world gather together every single Sunday at the risk of their lives. If they are caught, they will be persecuted, potentially imprisoned, and possibly even killed. But it’s worth it to them because this is what it means to be the church. These brothers and sisters in Christ have much to teach us about the value of physically being together as a church family.
At the same time, the reasons above concerning why we normally gather in person are the same reasons why we are choosing not to gather in person right now. Because the Bible calls us to care for one another and love one another (and all our neighbors) as ourselves, we believe the best way we can do that in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is by not gathering in person. If we were to come together for a normal Sunday with over 10,000 people across our city at our campuses, the likelihood is extremely high that unknowing carriers of this distinct and different virus would expose many others to it. Those exposed would then scatter from our building into and beyond our city, increasing the likelihood of people not only at our buildings, but in and beyond our city, being exposed to this virus. All of this would be harmful for church members and guests as well as people far beyond our church, many of whom are more at-risk physically due to either age or medical conditions. For these reasons, we believe the best way we can love our neighbors as ourselves in this unique time is to participate in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing (defined by the CDC as “remaining out of congregate settings and avoiding mass gatherings”). Further, in light of the thousands of people who meet at different times in our buildings all throughout the week, we believe the wisest way to love them all is to limit their exposure to this virus by closing our buildings.
This does not mean, however, that we are closing the activities of the church. Quite the opposite is true. This is a time for us to be the church like never before! Continue reading below and listen online each Sunday for more information about how we are working together to glorify God as His church during these days.
We are encouraging groups across our church to consider alternate means for staying as biblically and closely connected to one another as possible during this time. Go HERE for more detailed recommendations and resources for groups. In addition, we have compiled recommendations and resources for families, students, and children during this time. Check out our Resources for Parents and Children and A Simple Guide to Family Worship.
In the midst of a global pandemic, we want to be a clear picture of God’s love across our city. One of the ways we can show God’s love is by participating in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing. That’s why we’re not gathering together in person – because this is one of the best ways we can love others right now. At the same time, we don’t want to isolate people who are in need all around us. As a church together and as individual Christians, we want to care for others in any way that we can according to all the health and safety guidelines and recommendations made by government leaders and health professionals.
Therefore, we are coordinating a church-wide effort to provide help and deliver soap and food products to neighbors and communities in need. We have a network of relationships with schools and other churches, and they have shared with us about the need for food for children in light of them not being in school, and for families in light of various challenges at work. As a result, we are working closely with local officials according to CDC guidelines to pack and deliver helpful products to communities across our city. Click HERE for more details about this church-wide effort, and fill out this Interest Form if you’d like to get involved.
In addition, we are also encouraging church members to reach out individually to people in your neighborhoods who might need help during this time. You can download and print this flyer to connect individually with your neighbors in order to care for them. Keep in mind that as you distribute these flyers to your neighbors, you are personally assuming responsibility for helping them as much as you can. We are working to have care packages with soap and food products available at MBC campuses so that you can come to one of our buildings, pick up care packages, and deliver them to neighbors, as needed.
Finally, if you are a member of MBC and you have specific needs for help, please contact us here.
NOTE: The link below is updated with new information as of March 17, 2020.
Our Global Outreach staff is continually consulting various sources of information including our ministry partners in other countries, the State Department, and organizations like the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Based upon this information, we are making determinations concerning any needs to adjust, postpone, or cancel trips. At the same time, we are encouraging individuals involved in trips to prayerfully consider any decision to travel through consultation with medical professionals, as appropriate. For more detailed, up-to-date information on MBC short-term mission trips in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), please click HERE.
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), including its relative risk, at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.
If you are sick with a cough or running a fever, or you have a compromised immune system in other ways, we encourage you to remain at home and/or seek proper medical attention. Please also alert your church family so that we can best help and support you.
If you are elderly or have existing medical conditions that might place you at higher risk in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we strongly encourage you to limit your interactions with others during these days. At the same time, we ask you to please let us as your church family know how we can best help and support you.
Regardless of age or medical condition, we encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.
If you do not know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to put your faith in Jesus. And if you do know that you have eternal life with God, we urge you to share your faith in Jesus with others. Times like these remind us all of the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. So let’s spread the greatest news that death has been defeated and eternal life is available to all who trust in Jesus.
In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):
Join us on Facebook Live every day at noon as we pray together.
In an effort to reach those that might not have access to Internet in their home, nursing home, or hospital room, we have made a phone number available that allows you to listen to our online gatherings live! Know someone this would benefit? Please share with them!