Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren launched a video called The Quarantine Shake to help children learn the Centers for Disease Control’s five recommendations to protect themselves from the COVID-19 infection.
Launched Saturday on SaddlebackKids.com, the video features the character “Helmet Guy,” who dances to a hip-hop tune with the five recommendations with the acronym S.H.A.K.E. It’s not a new character, as the church has been using him in worship videos for children.
S.H.A.K.E. is an acrostic, with each letter spelling out a recommendation — “5 WAYS TO S.H.A.K.E. THE VIRUS!”
“S” for “Stay at home;” “H” for “Hand wash often;” “A” for “Avoid your mouth;” “K” for “Keep your distance;” and “E” for “Elbow cough.”
“It’s an important message I want our kids to memorize,” Warren told Pastor Kurt Johnston, who leads the church’s 5,000-member Kids Ministry, while proposing this idea during an online church meeting, according to The Orange County Register.
The Helmut Guy was chosen “because he’s very recognizable and the kids really like the character,” Johnston said. The character is viewed by children as different, mysterious and a little bit cool, he added. “We know they will want to copy him and share the video with their friends.”
Last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing arm, Lifeway Christian Resources, started offering a free, in-home children’s Bible study program available to churches of all kinds that had suspended their services and moved worship services online due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The temporary free resource is called “LifeWay Kids at Home.” The Digital Pass experience offers parents and their children a Sunday school-like alternative for a weekly media-driven kids’ Bible study at home.
Similarly, Nick Hall, the founder of the millennial-led evangelism movement PULSE, launched a new Instagram TV series to help millennials and teens stay spiritually healthy.
Titled “The Bible Quarantine,” the social media series explores relevant topics such as the meaning of church when people physically cannot meet together for worship and how to deal with fear in the face of the uncertain.
Each episode, available on both Instagram and Facebook, is seven to eight minutes long and is posted every night at 9 p.m. ET. The series’ first episode, “Closed on Sunday,” received an initial 11,400 views across all platforms.
Due to the social distancing rules across the country, Christians and churches are finding themselves in an unprecedented situation.
Warren, the pastor of the Saddleback megachurch in Lake Forest, California, recently remarked that the coronavirus pandemic prevented millions of churches around the world from physically gathering for Easter Sunday for the first time in 2,000 years.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Warren told the OC Register on Good Friday about the virus. “9/11, Katrina, things come and go. This is different.”
Warren explained that along with the rest of the world, many people of faith were having their lives disrupted by the impact of the coronavirus and they are anxious too.
Using the story of Christ’s resurrection, however, Warren made the case that living a life of faith through Christ can help people get through the pandemic.