Be Shepherds


Grace Church of Greater Akron, Ohio

As we’ve been wrestling through the coronavirus epidemic and its relational and economic upheaval, we have leaned into these big ideas:

We have paused all in-person programming and are pursuing relationships. We found, as a church staff, that this crisis has actually created a great opportunity for us to push deeply into personal relationships. It’s not too often you take the time and effort to contact your church family simply to check on them and ask if you can pray for, help or serve them in any way. Especially as a larger church, when we send out communications to every individual, we are often asking them for something. We may be raising money or simply asking them to be involved in some way, but rarely are we simply checking on them for purely pastoral reasons.

At Grace Church of Greater Akron, we have a mailing list of over 20,000 people that would have connected with Grace in some way. One of our practices during this difficult time, is taking that list and calling through it individual by individual. We are simply asking if we can pray for them, help them or serve them in any way. The response from our folks has been overwhelming, because they are scared, hurting and facing a high degree of uncertainty. It’s been a phenomenal time to simply pastor and shepherd them through these uncharted waters.

We’ve been leaning heavily into Acts 20:28: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” We’ve been taking our “extra” time, that has been freed up because we are not running programming or having normal weekend services, and simply pressing into the pastoral end of our church family. This frankly has been a goal and on the to-do list for a long time, but now through his sovereignty, God has provided us with the unique opportunity to reach out and express love and care to the people he has made us overseers.

Read more COVID-19 Perspectives from pastors and church leaders.

Jeff Bogue
Jeff Bogue

Jeff Bogue is the senior pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron in Ohio.