COVID 19 Update – How does our current situation impact your small group ministry?
Everything is changing. And, like it or not, things will continue to change. Once we get past the COVID 19 Pandemic, things will not go back to normal. That might happen for some churches, but for most of us, things will look and be different than before. Digital is and will be a part of our new normal. You can fight it or join in, but eventually, we all must change.
God, His Word and the church will always exist, but how we do church will change. Think about it, in the book of Acts the early church looked very different than it does today. Change is not always bad. People will still need the church. BUT, how we do“church” must change. People will still need community. Most likely, we will still attend a worship service and a small group every week. But, many will begin to do church differently. We will need to adapt to our new environment. So, how will this impact our small group ministry?
In the book of Acts, the church functioned almost entirely out of small groups. As the gospel spread, people met in small groups. The only places you could assemble larger groups were in Synagogues and places of business. Most groups met in homes or outside. The history of the movement of God in North America is largely a story of small groups. Small groups will always exist in some form or another. Most adaptations have been made for large and larger groups.
For most of us, church has been a commitment of one or two days a week. We have typically spent two to five hours a week at church. Yet, there are 168 hours in a week. On average we spend 56 hours of the week sleeping, and another 56 hours at work or school. This leaves the average person 44 hours a week to spend however they want; that is a little more than 6.3 hours a day. My point is, why shouldn’t the church be the church every waking moment of our day? That’s 112 hours a week, 16 hours a day. How can God use your small group to connect people to God and to one another in this timeframe?
Going forward, staying connected will provide the greatest opportunity for your small group or Sunday School ministry. During this season, we have discovered new ways to connect with one another—let’s make that trend continue. Our ministry should be thought of as more than one hour a week at the church, a home or wherever. Our ministry is to do more than teach a Bible study. We are shepherding a small group in their walk with Christ.
What can we learn from our current experiences and begin right away adapting to our new reality? Get your group accustomed to connecting during the week, not just during the Bible study time. Discover new ways of connecting people who can’t attend your group during a particular week. Begin to utilize new resources that you are discovering how to use for the first time. Practice them now, while you have the time. Develop some new habits of Bible reading, prayer, discussion, mentoring, exploring, etc.
There is so much FREE stuff available right now–why not research and try something new? Who knows, these new tools could become an important part of your Sunday School or small group ministry now and well into the future. Don’t be afraid, just try it. We learn best when we are trying.
Don’t be afraid of our future. God is and will always be on His Throne. Allow God to use you AND your digital self to impact people in ways you have never done before.
Below are some new resources to try: