To say the Covid-19 Pandemic changed our lives is putting it simply. It altered the way we function – where and how we spend time with God, time with church, time with family, and time with work. For most, especially church staff, the pandemic altered the way we could connect and worship as a faith community.
The pandemic and quarantine put church staff in a once-in-a-lifetime position – not being able to be in-person for worship services, Sunday schools, and groups. Every challenge, I was taught, needs to be seen as an opportunity. Church staff had to figure out not only how to stay seamlessly connected but also do it with such authenticity it’d attract and keep more people.
From my experience working in the ministry of a local church, we leaned into our communications. We were already set up with the Realm church app that provided real-time updates in a newsfeed and online streaming. So I pushed those avenues even more – more members signed up with the app and the audience grew! We had Sunday school teachers making videos. One of the pastors started a new weekly video for the children. We made the most of it! And members continued to feel connected.
And we couldn’t forget about the mission field – the community at large. Every couple of months, make use of your outdoor space – or find an area you can enjoy. Having the community see your involvement not only with your members but also those who can walk up and enjoy a fun activity makes all the difference. Host an outdoor concert – live stream it for those at home; host an outdoor movie – keep socially distant, and host a community bike ride and festival – give opportunities for ALL to be involved.
Don’t shy away from difficult and real issues. Be meaningful in your mission. Be connected to the heartbeat of your community. Find community programs in need of assistance and give. Have food drives, where people can still social distance and provide food to those in need. Find the people, create groups that fit everyone’s gifts and talents. Who can lift and drive to help the homebound get their meals? Who can cook meals for the homeless?
Come wisely together as a church in this time of need.
Be the church.
Kimberly Brauss joined the ACST team in October 2021 as Marketing Campaign Coordinator, working on projects centered on brand strategy and corporate communications. Before joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles including at a large Florence church that uses ACST programs, including Realm. And before her communications roles, for a number of years she managed the newsroom as content editor at the Morning News. Kimberly is a cradle Catholic who’s active in church life, serving in volunteer roles, and being a member in Bible studies.