COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, has prevented most churches from meeting in their physical buildings, but it has also created an opportunity for the church to be an active light in the darkness within their community. Here are just a few ways your church can be more creative, serve your community well, and stay connected to those in your mission field.
Record your sermon and send to the congregation to watch or listen to in their homes
There are many great resources for churches of all sizes when it comes to taking your church out of the building to the computer screen. Here’s a few resources:
Virtual church hangouts (small groups, prayer, check-in)
Take virtual past Sunday morning worship by encouraging small groups and Bible study groups to continue to meet over a virtual communication tool, such as Zoom or Google Hangout, or Facebook Group. Gather your group together for study and prayer or get a group of people in your congregation together to just check-in on each other and offer encouragement. This can be accomplished in small groups of 3 or larger groups up to 20.
Daily devotions posted to social media and email or mailed to congregants
Take the time to encourage your congregation and others by writing and sending a note of encouragement and updates on activities within the life of your local church. This can also be recorded and uploaded to social media or sent out to a church email list.
Partnering with churches in your area
If you don’t have the capability to stream your worship services, consider partnering with another local congregation that offers that capability. View an ongoing list of Indiana United Methodist churches that live stream here. You can also partner ecumenically within your local county to help meet needs of prayer and service.
One way to encourage continued giving when we are unable to meet for physical worship services is to offer capabilities for secure giving online. You can also encourage members to write a check and mail it to the church to be deposited.
Popular Online Giving Options:
Facebook Donation Campaign (set up as a nonprofit through Facebook and you aren’t charged a percentage for the donation given)
Serving your community well
- Ease the financial burden by collecting an offering for food, financial bills
- Lack of access to food is a need of many in our communities – can you make and take a meal for someone? Offer to pay for their groceries?
- Support your local food pantries – When at the grocery store consider picking up a few additional items for your local food pantry.
- If your church has a food pantry – consider delivering food to people’s cars to limit physical contact.
- Support your local economy by buying gift cards from small businesses to be used at a later date.
- Make “get well kits” with hand sanitizer, cough drops, Powerade/Gatorade, tissues for your neighbors
- Offer to get groceries for your immuno-compromised neighbors.
Connecting with Youth and Children
Digital Experience Guide for Your Children’s Ministry – Orange KidMin
Online Meeting Resources – National Network of Youth Ministries
Self Care for Socially Distanced Youth Workers – Youth Worker Collective