By now we have all conceded the reality that our weekly church schedules are grinding to a halt for weeks, perhaps even months. Just this past Sunday, numerous churches cancelled their services and began a new norm, not by choice but by necessity. Those churches which kept their schedules last week are now having to rethink that and join the rest as the US CDC strongly recommends the cancellation of gatherings of more than ten people.
How can a church survive without a weekly gathering? Think of approaching the changes in three areas:
1. Preaching and teaching. Most churches are already preparing for online services. The easiest way to broadcast your service is through Facebook Live. Set up a church Facebook page and then inform all of your church members to like or join your page. Then inform them that you will be going live at a set time for your service. You can use your phone/tablet or computer to broadcast your service. You may want to purchase a tripod if you are using your phone or tablet.
Some churches are pre-recording their services and having them played at set times. This can be done by recording on a phone/tablet, computer or video recording equipment and then editing. Once edited, the mp4 can be uploaded on Facebook to be Premiered at a set time.
Also consider using social media to communicate with devotions, Bible studies, etc. Remind them often that online worship is only temporary and cannot replace the Scriptural ideal of weekly gatherings.
SFBA leaders are ready to assist you. Feel free to contact any of them:
Perry Eaton, firstname.lastname@example.org – 903-681-5428
Ken Collins, email@example.com – 281-533-3120
Brady Lock, firstname.lastname@example.org – 832-579-4660
Clyde Copeland, email@example.com – 281-277-2200
Joe K. Arms, firstname.lastname@example.org – 281-350-9673
Pre-recording Services with Higher Quality Equipment:
FBC Bellville, Brady Lock – email@example.com – 832-579-4660
Grand Parkway BC, Clyde Copeland – firstname.lastname@example.org – 281-277-2200
2. Pastoral ministry. We are accustomed to checking on the flock primarily on Sundays as we see them, then contacting those we haven’t seen. Now, almost every member falls into the second category and will need a personal touch from their church leaders. Want to hold them close to you and your church during a time of social distancing? Try implementing a plan to contact every member and family by phone on a regular basis, using pastors, church leaders, and small group leaders. By caring for the congregation you have now, you will increase your chance of retaining them when your doors open again.
3. Contributions. If you haven’t taken the step of providing for online giving, now is the time. You may want to consider using Tithe.ly. It is easy to set up, and donations can be deposited directly into your church bank account. You can offer the option not only on your web site but also in every communication you send out. Be sure to make the “Donate” or “Give” button visible and easy to use. Give financial updates regularly, and urge readers to keep up their giving, helping their church avoid a financial crisis.
For help with Tithe.ly, contact:
Jessica Orr, SFBA Office, – 281-232-8556
Ken Collins email@example.com – 281-533-3120
We are here to serve you now, as always.
Sam Waltman, Executive Director
Perry Eaton, Associate Director