Most would agree that this pandemic will be detrimental to churches across America the longer it continues. We could choose to quarrel over it or rebel to the authorities that seek to shut our churches down, but the bottom line is that many people are fearful and simply not coming back no matter what.
All churches fight the battle of attrition. People move away, they die, they get carnal and simply quit…not to mention getting mad at the pastor! So, a church has to keep reaching people or they go backwards. During these days of pandemic, we are trying just to keep what we have and struggle moving forward. If we don’t reach out to those on the sidelines, we will lose them too!
So, the real question is: How can we keep our churches together? We have always preached that the church is God’s people and not a building, but a church building sure makes a great rallying point. Now is the time to prove that we are a body of believers.
Here’s the principle to understand how to keep your people connected. Most of us have been thrown into being TV preachers without being asked. That means that the songs and messages are going out to the people from the Church and usually there is very little response coming back in from the people. The tactic is to create as many ways as possible for them to respond back to the Church. In other words, try to make it a two-way connection.
Here are some ideas:
- When you have communion, have staff or deacon or teachers take the communion elements out to their house with the biblical instructions so they can participate with you during the services…it will be worth the effort.
- Have a “Thanksgiving Tree” where you have folks write what they are thankful for and place it on a Christmas Tree marked “Give Thanks”. Then ask folks who are watching online to respond with things that they are thankful for and place their blessing on the tree too. During the streaming of the Thanksgiving service read the blessing from those who are watching online so the whole Church hears and participates together.
- A lot of Churches participate in the “Project Christmas Child” that Franklin Graham propagates. Make sure that those watching at home have the boxes delivered to them too.
- When you have a 24-hour prayer service. Call those watching at home and sign them up for a 30-minute slot too.
- It might be informing those online of folks who are sick or dying or a simple shout out to individuals at home while you are streaming at the end of the service.
The objective is to keep a two-way communication from the Church to the individual and back again in as many ways as possible. Just a thought!