Living through the Pandemic: A Conversation with Creflo Dollar Part 1
The pandemic came at us suddenly, unexpectedly, and quickly; we had no control over it. What lessons are we learning as pastors during the pandemic? One of the things that I learned is to keep the small things small. I know that to value relationships and nourish them, you can’t sweat the small stuff; and you must show appreciation for your family and friends. I recently interviewed my friend, brother, mentor, and pastor, Creflo Dollar, to get insight and ask a few of the most pressing questions we’ve received from pastors from all over the globe.
Bishop Fuller: Since the pandemic started, there has been a great shift in life in ministry. How did you adjust to that shift, and what advice would you give?
Pastor Dollar: I think “clarity” and “paradigm shift” are both keywords here. I adjusted by choosing what’s essential after the pandemic versus what was important before the pandemic. Ministries will have to re-evaluate everything we used to do and ask ourselves, “Is that necessary right now?” “Will it work now?” Ministry leaders will have to ask themselves, “Is it still about people, or is it about me?” We are going to need the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Bishop Fuller: For pastors that have said, “I’ve lost or am losing my church, and I don’t know what to do,” what advice would you give them?
Pastor Dollar: I don’t know the answer to, “Oh, I’m losing my building.” What if God wanted you to lose that building? What if He’s got something better for you? What if He’s got something that He’s getting ready to do for you that’s going to blow your mind? We’ve got to be willing to let things go so that God can do new things in our lives. I think sometimes we hold on to the “old” as if heaven is bankrupt or as if your church is the only building God is ever capable of giving you. You have to say, “You know what, God? I trust You, and everything’s going to be all right. I have a relationship with You. I trust that if You want me to be a pastor, You’ll give me a place to do it.”
Bishop Fuller: What is your advice for people who are still dealing with the fallout of the pandemic: fear, germophobia, finances, lack, physical illness, depression, anxiety, death in their family, or what I call the “COVID blues.”
Pastor Dollar: The COVID blues are real because of the attack on your emotions and the concern and fear from listening to the media. The two key things that Taffi and I have done are to 1) spend time in the presence of God, and then 2) spend time building one another up and creating new routines. We’re not just going to sit there and let the blues dominate us. I would advise people to first identify the issues. Right beside each issue, find Scriptures that address it. Second, I would address those issues every day by confessing the Scripture over those things you’re dealing with. Third, I would find some people that might be going through some of the same things you’re going through and figure out how to be a blessing in those people’s lives.
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As we navigate through the pandemic, be around positive people that speak faith, not gloom and doom. That will minister to you and help you find a way to enjoy life. You can have fun being a Christian, but many Christians have not learned to enjoy life. God made all things for us to enjoy; many of us aren’t. We need to learn how to enjoy being saved, even during a pandemic.
Come back next month for Part 2 of this interview!