While the stay-at-home orders have been challenging in many ways, many churches have done a wonderful job harnessing technology during the season. Many have reported seeing greater numbers online than they were seeing in their buildings pre-COVID. Here are a few stories of churches that have embraced digital ministry during this time.
Pastor Wes Faulk from First Baptist Vidalia shares that God opened opportunities to serve and share the Gospel in this time.
- Because God worked through these online opportunities, we saw people connect to our church in ways that surprised us regularly. We have reached more people with the gospel during the stay at home orders that we did when we were meeting in our building.
- Through the online ministry of our church we have seen people saved and baptized weekly. God provided the opportunities, and we got to be a part of it. Looking forward, I do think much of what we learned to do on the fly will become normal practice for our church. Early on, many will be slow to reenter the physical building of the church, and both online church as well as Sunday school will become normal. I do not think it is an ideal permanent solution but perhaps a long term gift for those who cannot attend.
- Perhaps the greatest lasting effect is the way I have learned to talk pastorally with my people through the online medium. Not just about church announcements but about life.
- I’m ready to gather again, but I am thankful for the gift of Facebook, iPads, and iPhones. Those technologies that I could not see the benefit of 15 years ago are the very tools God is using for His church today.
- See Wes Faulk’s full article here.
Many have reported seeing their churches reach expand beyond their normal Sunday morning crowds. Pastor McArthur Greensberry, church planter in Baker, Louisiana (New Beginning Baptist Fellowship Church) shares how a small investment boosted facebook posts helped them to reach more people than ever.
- Being a young church, we began looking for ways to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We began live streaming our services through Facebook over a year ago. We did not see a significant increase in our views until we started boosting our messages.
- Once we started boosting our messages, the views of services jumped from 44 to over 2000. We are very excited about the results we have received from using social media. Our Palm Sunday service we had 1400 views and the next week Our Easter Sunday service we had 2100 views. I would like to encourage pastors to continue using social media as a way to fulfill the great commission, reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that our experience would be encouragement to you.
Don’t just abandon these digital efforts when you’re given the green light to return to full capacity in your facility. The popular study “Experiencing God” challenges us to look at where God is working and join Him in what He is doing. If He has been moving in your remote meetings prayerfully consider how you can continue that approach as you regather.
You may be thinking “we can’t continue to do everything” and you’re right – you can’t and you shouldn’t.
So, be prayerful and intentional about what you add as you regather in your buildings. More than likely, there were certain ministries that were dying a slow death before the stay-at-home season. Unless God directs otherwise, don’t try to resurrect those. Stay with what’s been working and add ministries that build on your successes. Your ministry may look a little different as you return, but if it’s bearing fruit, it’s a look you want to nurture with the Spirit’s leadership.