During these uncertain times, people are turning to prayer to seek comfort and detach from the outside world. But as COVID-19 cases increase throughout the United States, everyone is still highly encouraged to stay at home to curb the coronavirus’ spread.
Fortunately, churches and ministries have taken it upon themselves to reach out to their members. Other church and spiritual leaders have also gone creative, creating alternative ways for the faithful to praise and worship in peace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are several options your ministry can set up to stay connected to the rest of the congregation.
- Broadcast the worship service
Bring the ministry to its members’ homes by doing a livestream of worship services. You can use Facebook Live, which is easy to set up. It is also accessible not only to ministry members, but other people as well as long as well. A laptop or desktop is not needed, as you can livestream the service using a smartphone.
Before you host a livestream, do not forget to invite ministry members or make a post about the scheduled virtual worship service on the ministry or church’s official Facebook page. This will encourage people to set a reminder and get a notification before the livestream starts.
Other tools you can use to host a virtual worship service include video conferencing software such as Zoom and Google Meet. Like Facebook Live, you can use a desktop, laptop, or smartphone to start the livestream. Viewers, however, need to set up accounts on these platforms. Furthermore, you will need to provide invitations or links so viewers can access the video conference. If the ministry prefers a more private worship service, this is an option to consider.
- Provide a drive-in worship service
If your church property has spacious grounds and parking lots, a drive-in worship service may be an option to keep members engaged and connected. Unlike the virtual worship service hosted on video conferencing platforms, this will require people to come to church. On the brightside, social distancing will be effortless, as people will stay in their cars for the duration of the service.
For the ministry’s end, an area to conduct the drive-in worship service is not the only requirement. You will need tools, such as speakers and microphones, set up so that worshippers can listen to the sermon without getting out of their cars. As such, this may require technical support.
- Organize online activities
Does your church or ministry host several programs and activities? You can take these into the virtual space using the same video conferencing tools you might use in streaming worship services.
To keep it manageable, organize smaller sessions. This will allow everyone in the video conference to actively participate in the discussions. Churches and ministries can do this for a variety of activities, from prayer meetings, bible studies, book clubs, and more.
As you set schedules throughout the week, be mindful of the congregation’s work hours and personal routines. This way, participation can be ensured.
- Encourage members to hold smaller meetings
The COVID-19 pandemic is a great time for ministry members to walk the talk and exercise what they have learned from the church. You can encourage them to lead prayer meetings, bible studies, and more within their own homes. If it is relatively safe, they can reach out to their neighbors and invite them to join.
For the church or the ministry’s part, you can provide these leaders resources that will help them host these sessions, such as conversation and prayer guides, as well as activity pages.
In addition to encouraging the congregation to hold these meetings, remind members to ask their neighbors and friends for feedback and suggestions. The church or the ministry can use these to further improve their distance worship services and other initiatives during the pandemic.
- Be active on social media
With all the social distancing and restrictions, it is especially important for churches, ministries, and other religious organizations to make their online presence felt. Social media activity will remind members that they are still part of a larger purpose. And for members who live alone, these social media pages can make them feel less lonely.
There are plenty of things churches and ministries can post on their social media pages. Aside from announcements and updates about the community, you can post missions for different days, prayers, inspirational messages and videos, and other feel-good content that can uplift the congregation.
Although the church property has ceased to be the gathering place for the community in the meantime, your congregation can still foster a loving and nurturing relationship through other ways.
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