As numbers of positive COVID-19 cases increase in many parts of the country, more people are deciding to worship at home. Thankfully, many churches have decided to continue offering virtual access to their services, even while having live in-person services, so members can connect online.
It’s important for people to have the option whether to come together in-person or remain at home. However, as leaders, we realize the importance of community and worship during the week, not just on Sundays. How do we make this possible with so many concerned about person-to-person contact?
One great thing about 2020 is the amount of technology available to so many people. Most Americans have a smartphone which increases the availability of online access. Just as educators and many businesses have moved to having virtual meetings, using platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, and WebEx, this is possible for churches as well.
Staff meetings are already widely held through these platforms, why not have small groups and Bible studies in the same way?
One of the drawbacks is that some members of your congregation may not be internet savvy and feel intimidated by this technology. This creates a great opportunity for the church to provide training and support to help people begin to come together in this way.
Just as school districts post tutorials for parents helping their children with online learning, the church can provide tutorial videos for members of small groups learning how to meet virtually.
For smaller churches that may question their own technical abilities, there are many online resources that already have great tutorial videos created. Most are free and available for anyone to use.
To take the training further, some churches have even created a hotline members can call if they are having technical difficulties while trying to attend an online small group or Bible study.
This is also a great opportunity to connect our senior citizens with our youth and young people. Having the young people available for phone call support and/or FaceTime calls creates new relationships and bridges a gap between generations.
While 2020 has certainly brought challenges and difficulties that we never imagined, it has also created new ways of connecting and reasons to depend on each other in surprising ways.
Churches can continue to engage their members in community, just in new and creative ways. The beauty of creating purpose from pain comes from choosing our perspective. Use the challenges of 2020 to create new opportunities for your congregation.