Free Resources for Churches and Ministers During COVID-19
These are unprecedented days for the local church. With services moving online and social distancing being enforced, there is no doubt that there will be economic and financial implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for some time.
But you are not in this alone in this season.
Since 1918, GuideStone® has been committed to “serving those who serve the Lord®,” and that is more important to us than ever right now. To help you walk through these uncharted waters when we know money may be tight, we’ve compiled a list of FREE resources to help keep your life and ministry moving forward.
Ministry & Church Operations
Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020. To help you understand how this will impact you and your staff, check out their handouts and Q&A.
COVID-19: Recommended Preventive Practices and FAQs for Faith-based and Community Leaders
The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives — a part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — understands that faith-based and community leaders continue to be valuable sources of comfort and support during this period of distress. Which is why they have addressed many FAQs on how you can best help reach vulnerable populations with essential information and assistance in the days ahead.
IRS Paid Leave
The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can soon begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees. The goal of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act) is to help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employees’ own health needs or to care for family members.
Read the News Release
Generosity by LifeWay
If your church currently is in need of a digital giving solution, Generosity by LifeWay is opening its digital giving platform to all churches immediately. Simply provide them with basic information about your church, and they will set up a custom giving page for you and post it live online to share with your congregation.
Explore Generosity by Lifeway
Bible Study, Articles and a Prayer Guide from LifeWay
The move to online services and community doesn’t mean your ministry stops. To help keep you and your congregation encouraged during these uncertain times, LifeWay is sharing several Bible studies and articles — as well as A 7-Day Coronavirus Prayer Guide — with you at no cost.
Access LifeWay Resources
As you are preparing to webcast/stream worship services online (website, app or social media channels), LifeWay Worship wants you to have flexibility and freedom to utilize their audio tracks as your ministry plans and needs arise. They are offering you a FREE license right now for audio track use.
COVID-19 Cyber Scam Prevention
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), a division of the United States Department of Health & Human Services, recently issued a warning to remain vigilant for cyber scams related to COVID-19. They believe criminal actors may attempt to use this outbreak to steal confidential, personal data. To help you know what to look for to best protect both your personal and church information, the OCR has gathered helpful guidelines and precautions to follow.
Read the Guidelines
Guidance for Sustaining Your Church in the Midst and the Aftermath of a Global Crisis
Churches are on the front lines of the global COVID-19 crisis, and yet many are struggling due to canceled services and reduced offerings. While now is most certainly the time to be on your knees, it’s also wise to follow these 5 practical steps to ensure you are doing your best to guide and sustain your church through these uncertain days.
Refer Someone in Need to Mission:Dignity
We say it all the time because it’s true — Mission:Dignity® is the heart of GuideStone. Right now, this group that we are honored to serve is considered one of the most vulnerable populations to the coronavirus, so we want to make sure we’re helping as many of our brothers and sisters in Christ who need financial assistance as we can.
If you know a retired SBC minister, worker or widow in your area who would benefit from extra financial help and support right now, please contact us.
Make a Referral
Health & Wellness
With some areas of the United States already experiencing the wide spread of COVID-19, telemedicine is an important step in accessing health care as many medical providers are experiencing higher-than-normal requests for in-person appointments.
If you have medical coverage through GuideStone, you have free access to telemedicine through Teladoc®. However, if you are not enrolled in one of our plans, many local health systems and providers offer telehealth, so check with your local provider to see if it is an option.
Find a Community Health Center
Community Health Centers may be a viable option for you to seek medical attention if:
- You are unable to schedule an appointment with your doctor.
- You are currently without health insurance coverage.
Please note that some of the clinics on the interactive maps may not be fully government sponsored and may be sponsored by non-Christian nonprofit organizations, so you should consult the information available from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to determine if a specific location is an appropriate choice for you or your family.
“Find a Health Center” is provided by the HRSA for informational purposes only and has not been verified by GuideStone for accuracy.
Launch the Interactive Map
Personal & Church Finance
COVID-19 Pandemic Phase III Stimulus Package
The COVID-19 Pandemic Phase III Stimulus Package provides potential relief for churches and pastors. This outcome is thanks to efforts by the Church Alliance - a national coalition of large and historic church benefit boards (including GuideStone) - and Southern Baptist partners who worked to ensure churches and pastors have the same options as small businesses and self-employed individuals attempting to financially weather the economic turmoil wrought by COVID-19. GuideStone’s Legal team has prepared a lengthy Q&A for churches and pastors looking for answers to how this stimulus package may impact them.
Relief for Taxpayers Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic
The IRS has issued Notice 2020-17 and Notice 2020-18 to help provide some relief to all Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally, American taxpayers must make federal income tax filings and payments by April 15, 2020, but these Notices postpone both the filing and payment deadlines until July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers can postpone payments up to $1,000,000 if filing as a single individual or as married individuals on a joint return. This relief is available only for federal income tax payments (including payments of tax on self-employment income) due on April 15, 2020, for the taxpayer’s 2019 tax year. Any interest or penalties on the postponed tax filings and payments will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.
Filing and Payment Deadlines Questions and Answers
As we mentioned above, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS announced special federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. Understandably, there have been a lot of questions about what this means and how it will impact both filing and payment deadlines, so they answered some of the frequently asked questions related to Notice 2020-18.
Additional GuideStone Resources
Retirement Solutions Resources
With the recent volatility of the market due to unexpected events such as the coronavirus, these retirement resources should help you facilitate conversations, respond to questions and concerns, and pass along best practices to your staff.
Access Retirement Resources
Insurance and Health Plan Coverage Resources
Due to the direct relationship between plan coverage and personal health, the majority of benefit questions right now likely surround health care benefits. With COVID-19 on the rise, use our free resources to inform your staff about their options as they make decisions about health care needs.
Access Insurance Resources
Property and Casualty Coverage Resources
Disrupted operations and suspended gatherings mean clear communications regarding safety and preventive measures are essential. Make sure you and your staff know and strictly adhere to protocol during this time of heightened sensitivity.
Access Property and Casualty Resources