Last week we shared about some of the lessons church leaders have learned in the wake of COVID-19. This week, we’d like to share some creative things we’ve seen churches to do to keep their congregations connected.
1 – [Fill in the blank] on Zoom
Zoom has been one of the top ways people have kept connected to work, family, and friends during shelter in place and churches have leaned into it in some pretty creative ways.
– Daily Check-in’s, Worship, and Prayer Time. Last week we shared about a church in New York City that is doing daily check-in’s on Zoom. They’ve shared a link with their church and each day at 8 AM and 8 PM, a member of the church leadership is on the call there to pray with, encourage, and check-in with any of the members that want to hang out or talk.
- Small groups and Bible studies. Even though you can’t be together in people’s homes many churches have opted to do small groups and Bible studies via Zoom.
- Virtual Talent Shows. Yes, you read that correctly. One church in suburban Chicago decided to put on a virtual talent show inviting members to share some of their hidden talents. During the show, they also collected donations for their benevolence fund to help support members that are in need during this season. It was a fun way to gather together and make a difference.
- Children’s programming and vacation Bible school. Other churches have used Zoom to help relieve parents for an hour or two by creating children’s programming on Zoom. From doing read-alongs and singing to even hosting vacation Bible school, it’s been a great way for churches to minister to children and their families.
However you may choose to use it, Zoom is a great way to keep people connected when you can’t be together in person.
2 – Getting more social on social media
Church social media feeds tend to be a flood of photos from services and events, but with neither of those happening in ways they normally do, some churches are using social media to keep their congregation connected to each other in some very creative ways.
Get to know your members. One church has decided to use this time to introduce members of their congregation by sharing their photos (with consent!) on social media and introducing them, sharing fun ways they are keeping themselves occupied, and what they love most about their church. It
Private Facebook Groups. All of us are spending more time on our devices and social media, so some churches have begun to create interest-based private Facebook Groups to connect people in their church who share similar hobbies or passions.
Letting the church be the church. This has been a hard season for many, and some churches are using social media to let their church know about ways they can make a difference and support members of their community. By posting needs for simple things like picking up groceries to providing meals for essential and medical workers, there’s no better time for the church to be the church and help members of their community. Social media is a great way to share those needs quickly and get people to respond.
3 – Socially-Distant Activities
Even if you have to be 6 feet apart, that doesn’t mean you can’t still be near each other and some churches have innovated fun ways of giving people the opportunity to connect, even while maintaining social distance.
Drive-in church. Many churches have large parking lots or property adjacent to their buildings and they’ve put those to good use by doing drive-in church. By either putting an AV system outdoors or broadcasting through social media, it’s a way the congregation can be united together, just inside of their respective vehicles.
Socially distant picnics. It’s summer which means it’s a great time to be outdoors and some churches have hosted socially distant picnics, allowing members the opportunity to spend some time outdoors together. While still maintaining social distance, it’s a great way to get people together.
If there’s one thing that has defined the Church for 2,000 years, it’s innovation, and how we are seeing churches adapt and respond to COVID-19 proves it. While we still may be a ways off from being together, these churches are showing we can still be connected.
What are ways you’ve seen the church keep people connected during this season? We’d love to hear your ideas!