There has been so much encouraging feedback from church members as we have transitioned to online services and meetings. People seem to be really heartened by the efforts pastors and staff members have put into reaching out and ministering during these uncertain times. In this conference call, we share about what changes we have made in the way we do ministry and how these changes may carry over even after in-person meetings become safe and feasible.
The act of taking time to minister one-on-one is quite impactful. Some pastors are going through their church member directory and calling every person, to talk and to pray with them. Dan Brindley of CrossPoint Church in Farmingdale, NJ shares how he and his staff have gone through their church’s visitor log dating back to January 2019 – calling those people to ask if they need prayer and encouragement. Jeremy Hudelson of Christ United Church in Richmond, IN, shares how he has been sending hand-written notes to the older generation in his church. People are craving personal connection.
Continuing to incorporate virtual platforms can be an effective way to keep certain demographics plugged in – like those who have to travel frequently for work. By removing the hurdle of having to be in a certain physical location to meet, we can help people be more engaged in Christian community. Paul Crouthamel of Journey Church in Raleigh, NC and Gene Mims of Gathering 840 in Franklin, Tennessee both share how they are exploring ways to continue the online aspect of these group meetings even after this crisis subsides.
Perhaps this is something that we should have been doing more of all along, but this time of social distancing has given many people more time to spend in prayer. Andrew Hart of Sonrise Bible Church in Schenectady, NY shares how he and his team have been spending even more time in prayer – prayer over our families, our people, our ministries.
This time has also empowered people to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Have you given your people permission to go out into the community and be the gospel? Do they know that instead of waiting for the church to plan and coordinate everything, they need to be actively and purposefully sharing Christ with those around them? Chris Rhodenhizer of Image Church in Woodbridge, VA and Jimmy Carroll of Journey Church in Raleigh, NC share how people need to feel enabled and burdened to live out their faith.