Theological Resources for Covid-19

We’ve created a selection of theological resources to prompt prayer, study and reflection about Covid-19.

A Christian Perspective on COVID-19

A Christian perspective on COVID-19 (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
Dr Ruth Valerio and Gideon Heugh reflect biblically on why the Covid-19 crisis is happening and how we should respond.

COVID-19: Theological questions and answers from Sheryl Haw (pdf)
Sheryl Haw, former International Director of Micah Global, draws reassurance from the Bible about God's character, purpose and mission, and offers personal theological reflections on some commonly raised questions, including: Is Covid-19 God’s judgement? Who's to blame? Is the pandemic a sign of end times? How should the church respond to the pandemic?

Bible studies

Why is COVID-19 happening? (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
This Bible study looks at the impact of broken relationships and God’s plan for global restoration.

Lament (two parts) (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
Lament is a deeply biblical practice. This two-part Bible study explores what lament is and why it is important during this time of Covid-19.

Being church during COVID-19 (8 parts) (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
This eight-part Bible study is designed to help Christians explore God's word and reconnect with its calling in the context of Covid-19.

Loving our neighbours (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
A Bible study reflecting on what it means to be good neighbours during this time of isolation and separation.

Dealing with fear and anxiety (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
Many of us are experiencing fear and anxiety in different ways because of Covid-19. This Bible study reflects on these emotions and discusses how we might respond.

Taking courage (five parts) (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
This five-part Bible study explores the topic of courage in the book of Matthew. The material is adapted from www.engageworship.org.

Dealing with death (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
Because of Covid-19, more people than usual across the world are facing grief, illness and the risk of death. This Bible study discusses a Christian response to these realities.

Creative use of digital technology (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
Covid-19 has resulted in a number of restrictions on life and ministry. This Bible study uses the Apostle Paul's example as inspiration for how digital technology might be used during this unusual time.

Generosity in a time of crisis (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
At this time we may be tempted to focus more on ourselves than on the needs of others. This Bible study explores what generosity might look like during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Creativity during COVID-19 (3 parts) (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
This Bible study uses Genesis 1–3 to explore the idea that our creator God calls humanity to be a part of his global creative project and considers what this call to creativity might look like during Covid-19.

‘Distancing’ and the good Samaritan (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus tells a story about people who distanced themselves from those in need. This study challenges us to support the most vulnerable even while physical distancing restrictions are in place.

Suffering and COVID-19 (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
In a time of great suffering, the question of why God allows pain is hard to avoid. This resource encourages us not to ignore the healing presence of God in our quest for easy answers.

Mainstream and margin (pdf) (Ar) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
This Bible study invites us to consider disagreements as a tension between those who have power and those who do not, and considers how we can address this imbalance. At a time when tensions are inevitably heightened by Covid-19, this study can be used with a virtual church group, or as a family or household.

Mainstream and margin (audio) 
In this audio version of our Mainstream and margin Bible study (above), David Couzens of our Peacebuilding team talks you through the study in a discursive way, inviting you to consider the imbalance between those who have power and those who don't, and the implications this has for tensions in our community or home, especially during Covid-19.

Prayer and spiritual practices

How to pray for our world during COVID-19 (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt) 
A collection of prayer points from Tearfund staff, partners and others who are responding to the global Covid-19 emergency.

A prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
It can be difficult to know how to pray during a time of crisis. This beautiful prayer, written by Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his prison cell, may help you find the words.

Journalling and gratitude (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
In times of stress, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, journalling can help us to move from merely coping to growing, and can teach us how to be grateful in all circumstances.

Five spiritual practices in a time of isolation (pdf) (Es) (Fr) (Pt)
This resource suggests five spiritual practices to help you find peace and focus on God during this time of physical distancing and global uncertainty.

Pandemic prayerbook (pdf)
A compilation of 30 prayers on a broad range of subjects by 20 writers and ministry leaders, 'to change the trajectory of the virus, and in the meantime, to change us'.

20 prayers to pray during this pandemic
In a time of suffering, it can sometimes be difficult to know how or what to pray. This article offers 20 ideas for subjects you can pray into during Covid-19. (Also available in French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian and Korean)

Emotional growth during Covid-19 (pdf) (Fr) (Es) (Pt)
This resource explains the importance of acknowledging feelings of fear, anxiety and stress in a time of crisis, and provides some practical ideas for engaging with these emotions in a constructive way.

Guidance and resources for the local church

How the local church can shine during Covid-19 (video)
A short video on the important role that the local church can play in their community during Covid-19, in providing clear messages, offering a good example, and being a caring and hope-filled people.

Faith leaders: Supporting communities and safe practice (pdf)
This resource, based on WHO guidance, summarises the key ways that faith groups can support their communities during Covid-19 and the main considerations they need to make for faith rituals and practices. Subsequent resources consider these individual issues in greater depth.

Faith leaders: Pastoral care, mental health and resilience (pdf)
This resource offers practical ideas and signposts spiritual resources to help faith leaders meet pastoral needs and encourage community members to support one another during Covid-19. It is based on WHO guidance.

Faith leaders: Safe gatherings (pdf)
Amid tight restrictions on public gatherings in many countries, this guidance, based on WHO advice, outlines the considerations faith leaders should make before holding meetings. Where gatherings are permitted, it offers practical advice to help limit the risk of infection.

Faith leaders: Conducting faith activities remotely/virtually (pdf)
This resource offers faith leaders practical suggestions and both high- and low-tech solutions to help maintain community connections and continue faith activities remotely or virtually. The information here is based on WHO guidance.

Faith leaders: Safe ceremonies (pdf)
This guidance, based on WHO advice, outlines considerations for faith leaders planning ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, and offers practical suggestions for involving those who are unable to attend due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Faith leaders: Safe burial practice (pdf)
This resource, based on WHO guidance, sets out practical advice for conducting funeral and burial rites that comfort mourners, show respect for the deceased and protect people from infection.

Faith leaders: Communicating health protection information (pdf)
Faith leaders can use their position of trust and authority to share vital public health information to limit the spread of Covid-19. This resource, based on WHO guidance, sets out the key messages, with suggestions for how to share them.

Download and share

In this section you will find a range of ready-made graphics which you can download and share on your social networks and messaging apps.

COVID-19: Seven important roles churches can play

Image

There are many different things churches can do to support and bless people during this time of Covid-19. Below are some ideas for you to use, download and share. Download in Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Swahili.

 

Additional resources

All Africa Conference of Churches: 10 theological theses concerning Covid-19
In a time when there is so much that is unknown or unclear, this paper articulates ten helpful truths that are biblical and insightful for the Covid-19 crisis. This has been written within the context of churches in Africa, but is relevant globally.

American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute: Covid-19 response resources 
These include Beyond disaster: spiritual first aid for disaster survivors and first responders, a guide (available in English, French and Spanish) for people who have survived natural or human-caused disasters. It can be distributed any time following a disaster but is most beneficial once the initial shock has passed. The booklet offers (1) strategies to help people cope in the short term, (2) guidance on what to expect during the process of recovery, and (3) resources to begin a journey toward emotional and spiritual healing. This booklet integrates best practice in mental health into a biblical framework.

Anglican Alliance: Covid-19: how can churches respond?
Resources for spiritual resilience and practical actions

APBAid: Covid-19 Resource toolkit & response framework 2020
APBAid is the relief and development wing of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF). This toolbox has a wealth of resources designed to support churches and Christiansin different contexts during Covid-19. It includes resources on emotional well-being, communications and technology resources to equip churches ‘going virtual’, family well-being, community support and engagement, and theological reflections.

Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs: Faith and Covid-19 Resource Repository
This resource hub collates various resources designed to help religious groups respond to Covid-19.

Humanitarian Disaster Institute: Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI): Preparing your church for coronavirus
A step-by-step, research-informed and faith-based planning manual.

Humanitarian Disaster Institute: Spiritual First Aid Summit free online resources
This one-day FREE online event will inspire and cast a vision for living a message of hope as we care for our neighbours, churches, communities and world during Covid-19 and beyond.The free resources include the following short talks:

  • NT Wright: What should a christian say about coronavirus? 
  • Danielle Strickland: Cultivating a culture of belonging in isolation 
  • Dr Efrem Smith: When the church becomes a bridge 
  • Jason Daye and Rick Rusaw: Loving your neighbor in the midst of crisis 
  • Various scholars from the institute: Identifying and responding to safety needs in the church 
  • Dino Rizzo: How churches can pivot shift in times of disaster; lessons learnt from Hurricane Katrina

Humanitarian Disaster Institute: Spiritual First Aid toolkit
A step-by-step spiritual and emotional care manual for churches. This Covid-19 edition material is based on the Bible, academic research and the current needs and distancing concerns arising from Covid-19.

Joel News: How the early church handled two devastating epidemics (pdf)
Church history can teach us a great deal about handling epidemics such as Covid-19. This resource from Joel News shows how churches responded to crisis situations in the past.

Methodist Church: Official guidance for Covid-19
Guidance and FAQs for Methodist churches.

Operation World: Global transmission, global mission
In this short e-book, Jason Mandryk, the author of Operation World, takes readers through a sweeping overview of the implications of the Covid-19 virus for the global church and, specifically, its impact on global mission.

Pentecostal World Fellowship World Missions Commission: Covid-19 Recommendations for churches webinar (video)
This is an excellent webinar with contributors from around the world, which includes medical, pastoral and practical advice on Covid-19 for churches, church leaders and christians. It is organised by the Pentecostal World Fellowship World Missions Commission.

Pentecostal World Fellowship World Missions Commission: Covid-19 Resources for churches and global leaders
Excellent resources from Pentecostal World Fellowship World Missions Commission to help churches and Christian leaders deal with Covid-19.

Tearfund Canada: Psychosocial support resource kit for churches for during or after a disaster or crisis 
Originally produced in 2011, in response to the Canterbury earthquakes by Tearfund NZ, this resource has been revised to include information that is relevant to the Covid-19 pandemic and is being used by the Tearfund family around the world. Based on a holistic and theological understanding of well-being, it includes guidance on:

  • psychosocial support
  • social response to disaster or crisis
  • psychological responses to a disaster or crisis
  • identifying when specialised help is needed
  • helping specific groups and at-risk groups

Tearfund Nigeria: Seven characteristics of a post-Covid-19 Nigerian church 
This resource, written by Ben Osawe and based on good, holistic theology, helps us think through what it means to ‘be church’ as we emerge from the initial extremes of this pandemic. This resource is written in the context of the Nigerian church, but is largely transferable to other settings.

The Christian Journal for Global Health: Special issue on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic
This special edition of the journal is a collection of public health, clinical, ethical, economic, social, leadership and theological perspectives on engaging with the pandemic.

The Lausanne Movement: Covid-19 and the majority world webinar
The Lausanne/WEA Network, known as Health for All Nations, hosts a 90-minute webinar focusing on Covid-19 and the developing world.

The World Evangelical Alliance: Resources from the WEA Global Day of Prayer and Fasting
The World Evangelical Alliance organised a Global Day of Prayer and Fasting on 29 March 2020 to pray for the Covid-19 crisis. Though this date has now passed, the resources are still relevant.