Spain is going through the worst crisis we can remember since our country became a modern democracy 40 years ago. The new coronavirus has killed more than 21,000 people and infected at least 200,000.

Our evangelical congregations have not been spared in this pandemic, and I am among those who were hospitalized with COVID-19.

I pastor a church of 350 people in a small city on the Atlantic coast. I also serve as a national leader of my denomination and as the president of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. But I was stopped in my tracks after I was infected.

After 21 days of fighting the disease both at home and in the hospital, I received a medical discharge. I was thankful and full of joy; I was also very conscious that others, even younger and healthier than me, had lost their lives.

As a country, we are still suffering as we walk toward an uncertain future. In my own family, people are still fighting the virus—including my wife and my mother-in-law. But here are six lessons based on our experience in Spain so far of striving to love God and neighbor well amid a pandemic.

1. Let’s remember we are not invincible.

The first conclusion is for those who, like me, are in Christian leadership. The obvious lesson as I was recovering was to remember that I am not superhuman. As pastors, we live in the same world as everyone else, with the same conflicts and risks. We are vulnerable—and this is precisely what qualifies us for leadership.

The leadership by those who seem alien to suffering will never produce disciples but only admirers. My time of suffering and fighting against the illness has reminded me once again that the Father already sent a Savior—and it is not me.

Falling ill also showed me afresh the importance ...

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