Megachurch leader and televangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes believes that the Church will be needed more than ever to heal the "residue of trauma" left by the COVID crisis.
The lead pastor of Dallas' The Potter's House, expressed his insights on the recovery from the epidemic at an Ad Council event held Thursday, dubbed "Finishing The Race!" to promote COVID-19 vaccination trust within the religious population. He also advised Christians who are debating whether or not to be vaccinated to "do your due diligence."
What does this mean for the Church?
The Christian Post quoted Jakes as saying, "I borrowed this from [Bishop] Vashti McKenzie, but it really aptly describes our reality that 'trouble doesn't last always, but trauma lasts for a while.' And I think we have to realize that as the trouble begins to dissipate that does not mean that the trauma is gone."
This was in answer to a question on recovering from the epidemic posed by Joshua DuBois, the event's moderator and CEO of Values Partnerships.
"And the Church is more needed now than ever before to treat the residue of trauma," he said adding that the country has seen an increase in murders, divorces, and spousal abuse.
"Trauma takes on a lot of forms," he continued. "And it's one thing to hear it as a word, but when you see it in the behavior of people, sometimes we don't really associate their behavior with the isolation that preceded it, the fear and the frustration, the loss of jobs that preceded it."
"The Church is needed more than ever before. The Gospel is needed more than ever before, and finding ways that we can minister to the souls of men, the emotions, the mind, memories in a holistic way. If you're not sleeping right, if you're not eating right, if you're having digestive issues ... it may be coming from suppressed trauma that may not be showing outwardly but may be eating you up inwardly. Ministry is very helpful," he declared.
He illustrated this by stating that, just as doctors can care for the body, the Church can care for the soul.
"So whether it takes therapy, counseling, but most of all ministry to get you to well, that's what we want to see happen," Jakes asserted.
His thoughts on vaccinations
Every day, the United States delivers around 1.8 million vaccinations. According to government statistics, "47.5% of the population has received at least one vaccine dose."
Jakes noted that the vaccination rate among his Potter's House parishioners has been steadily increasing, and the church is gradually loosening its restrictions while maintaining safety regulations.
He proceeded to say that they have shifted from a preaching in a vacant room to a "partially-filled room," largely with volunteers and staff, and that they are now gradually making it more accessible for their members.
He then advised that Christians get vaccinated and to make their own research with the help of qualified physicians who can either balance or back up their decisions.
"Across the country, other pastors are sharing similar stories that they're starting to stick their toe in the water, at least in moving toward normalcy. We're balancing that between people contracting the virus, some people being lost to the virus, but more and more, the numbers are starting to trend down. The numbers in our city are trending down ..." he explained.