Ever since President Akufo-Addo directed that all churches in Ghana must suspend their activities due to Covid-19 until further notice, a lot of Ghanaians have shared their opinion on that.
One of such persons is Samuel K. Obour, a journalist. He took to Facebook and gave his view of what the church must do in this trying times.
He wrote: My candid view is that churches should not be soliciting and collecting tithes and offerings at this time.
Covid-19 is beginning to wreak serious havoc on the economy, including on small business owners and workers in the informal sector.
My barber told me this morning that he received just about 10 customers this week. Normally, he would get up to 100 a week. (See first comment for more on this.)
What can churches do?
1) Immediately suspend the collection of tithes and offerings. (Churches have had decades to collect money from members and don't desperately need funds at this time)
2) Encourage members to begin saving and getting essential items that will be needed in the event of a full lockdown. The money saved can be helpful in the event of massive job losses or damage to the economy.
3) Aggressively sensitise members to the dangers of Covid-19 and teach them how to keep themselves and their families safe. (Some people don't believe the virus truly exists, so the church can be helpful in waking them up.)
4) Use part of existing church funds to support members who lose their jobs or businesses to this virus. (Members who are not affected by this crisis can voluntarily contribute to this project.)
The overarching priority for churches now should be to ensure that their members are safe and comfortable. The collection of tithes and offerings can resume once we get through this crisis.