Current Events

Who’s Your 1 in the Midst of COVID-19 Changes and Fears

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SEBTS is launching our Spring 2020 Who’s Your 1 Initiative today. Our SEBTS students, faculty members, staff, and friends have all received information about this upcoming event. We planned and prayed and wrote emails and brainstormed ways to implement this initiative in our courses. We prepared graphics and scheduled workshops.

But we couldn’t plan for what actually happened. Instead of kicking this initiative off in a live chapel service, there will be no more chapels in March. Instead of hosting evangelism trainings and prayer gatherings, all SEBTS events until the end of the month have been canceled. And when we hoped professors would be talking about their “ones” in their on-campus classes, most will be making the transition to online courses.

We had a decision to make. Do we cancel the initiative? Postpone it? Or keep it as is? We chose to keep it. We will still have a SEBTS campus-wide Spring 2020 Who’s Your 1 Initiative that runs from March 17-April 23. You will receive daily emails with instructions sent to your student email account. Our resource page will be available at We still ask you to pick a person, pray for that person, and intentionally try to share the gospel with that person.

Why? Because now, in a time of fear, it is even more important for us to pray for and share with our non-believing friends and family.

So how do we do Who’s Your 1 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

1. Pray for you “ones.” 

Select your “ones” and pray for them. Pray for their salvation. Also, pray for peace in the midst of a tense time. Pray that any anxiety or fear that they might face during this uncertain time would make them open to hearing about the Savior.

2. Check in on your “ones.”

 A simple text or phone call can go a long way. Sending texts that say, “Just checking in. How are you doing?” or “I’m heading to the store. Do you need anything while I am out?” or “Everyone in your family ok right now?” communicates to your “ones” that you care about them. Be willing to help as needed while also maintaining social distancing recommendations.

3. Let your “ones” know you are praying for them

During the same text chain or phone call, tell your “ones” that you are praying for them. Ask if there is anything you can specifically pray for. If you are on the phone with them, ask if you can pray at that time.

4. Contextualize the gospel to respond to today’s fears.

During times of uncertainty, people are more often more willing to listen. They are searching for answers. The things they put their trust in—the economy, their health, their comfort—are possibly in jeopardy, and they are looking for other answers.

In times like this, we need to be in the habit of giving people the Bible’s answers to the culture’s questions. Right now, people are asking questions like, “Why do bad things like this pandemic happen?” or “Everything I was trusting in is falling apart. What can I trust?”

You can share the gospel by something simple like the following:

Yes, the world is broken. Coronavirus, pandemics, fears, people dying. But this wasn’t the way the world was intended. When God created the world, there was no illness or fear or death. Man and woman had a right relationship with God and lived in paradise. God took care of the man and woman, and they had nothing to fear.

But one day, the man and woman chose to disobey God. When they did, the relationship between man and God was broken. When that relationship broke, it had a rippling effect that caused many other things to break. Their relationship with God was broken, but so was their relationship with the world around them. Sin entered the picture. Sin brought death and decay. There were natural disasters and illnesses, fear, and hurt. Creation groans for the day when God will make all things new.

Jesus came to make a way for all things to be made new. He came, fully God and fully man, to live a sinless life and die a sacrificial death. He paid the penalty for the sins and the shame of all people. And on the third day, he rose from the dead, showing that he had defeated death. All who follow him will defeat death as well. One day, Christ will return and will bring with him a new creation. In this new creation, there will be no death, no COVID-19, or other crippling illness. Every tear will be wiped away. We don’t have to live in fear because we know that there is coming a day when Jesus Christ, the conquering King, will set everything right.

Do you have hope like this?

5. Ask your “ones” to go to church with you later.

While we are closing church services and moving classes online, I realize that most of us are probably not thinking about inviting our neighbors, friends, and family to church. But change your mindset. Ask. This time of social distancing will end. Church services will resume. Small groups will meet again. Church activities will start back. And who knows? Maybe by asking them today, they will be more likely to say yes when that day comes.

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Anna Daub

Dr. Anna Daub is the Director of Special Projects and Partnerships for Global Theological Initiatives at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She lived in South Asia for two years and has traveled to many other parts of the world. Anna’s interests include orality, Bible storying, the arts, and anthropology. She loves sitting around with friends drinking a cup of coffee, hosting people in her home, traveling, and other adventures.

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