Here is part 3 of our 3 part series on how to Be the Church in a Virtual Setting. The church is not a building, or a set a programs, but a gathering of people. We are the church. And so while the way we normally do church has changed, the fact that we can still be the church has not changed.
In part 1 I addressed how we can still pariticipate in corporate worship. In part 2, I discussed our need to be generous and rolled out a plan to help people in need. Today, I want give some thoughts about how we can still engage in outreach to our neighbors while still practicing social distance.
- Check in on them with a phone call or text. See if they need help with anything. If you are doing a grocery run, offer to pick something up for them. Listen to their worries, fears and concerns. Offer to pray for them and see if they are comfortable with you praying right then. The point is, keep interacting. This is not a time to just hunker down with our immediate family. This is still a time to be reaching out to others.
- Host a virtual game night. Angie and I just did this last night and it was a blast. Our church has multiple zoom accounts, so if you want to use one, just let me know and I can try to make it available for you. Google hangouts is also another nice option.
- Invite them to church. One of the amazing things happening right now for our church, and for many others that I know of, is that we are getting more people watching our Sunday Services than ever before. This past Sunday we had 162 engage with our service on Youtube, 303 unique viewers on Facebook with 182 engagements, and 256 people watch through our website. So all together that’s 721 individuals. 721 souls. 721 men, women and children who got to here God’s word preached. That’s incredible. I’d encourage you to send out a link to your neighbors on Saturday night or Sunday morning. Angie and I reached out to 25 different people. Think through your contact list, pray and send a link. Also, if you are on Facebook, then watch the service on there. Every time you like, share, or post during the live stream more and more of your friends will see it and who knows who might want to stop and watch.
- Make them aware of opportunities to serve. God has put in every human heart a desire to care for other people. I’ve been so encouraged by how I see that coming out in so many people during this time. As a church, we are taking on the responsibility of dropping off food on a weekly basis for over 300 families from Kirkbride Elementary, Southwark, and Francis Key Elementary . Let your neighbors know and see who might want to help pack and/or be a driver to distribute. Anyone interested in volunteering can email Pastor Matt at [email protected] This is a great way to connect and provide them with an example of how our faith makes a practical difference in our lives
Grace and peace,