The church has been thrust into a digital world. What was once a luxury has become a necessity.
Until now, the church treated the digital world as a luxury and now it’s a necessity.D. Jackson Price
Praise the Lord for digital options during the coronavirus pandemic. I’m praying this sparks a revival.
Revival is a matter of God’s spirit at work in the heart of a person. In some ways, the spread of any infectious disease is similar to the spread of revival. Living a life of faith is more caught than taught. Let’s pray that revival by God’s spirit can spread during this unprecedented season.
Here are ways I see the church responding and making room for God’s spirit to be at work in this time!
Restructure Staff Time / Routine
Churches are making more time for prayer and devotions. Some staff are helping keep the church connected. Many student and kids’ ministry leaders are leveraging video and at home resources. The pandemic is forcing the focus toward people outside of the building – both our own people and new folks. Church leaders and staff are nimble enough to switch gears when needed.
Provide Online Worship
Most churches have turned to worshipping online from buildings, from homes, and in other ways. This was already normal for many churches; for others, it’s brand new. Now everyone is in this same boat. It’s the way we’re gathering. What used to be luxury is now necessity.
Churches that are unable to make this happen have collectively joined together in using online resources for worship. This provides a new united front for churches with a capital C. It’s less about competition and more about teamwork with a centralized global focus.
Tend To Spiritual Lives
Many leaders are focusing on devotions, emails, videos, texts and personal conversations. Depending on the size of their churches, leaders are finding ways to make it personal. In our church, staff members divided up the list and are calling people to talk. We’re increasing face-to-face time with daily videos. A different member of our staff is doing a devotional video each weekday at 4:16 based on 2 Corinthians 4:16.
Keep spiritual life front and center. Encourage your congregation. I’ve heard church leaders say people feel more connected in some supernatural way and it feels like the church is growing during this time!
Shepherd Volunteer Leaders
Church leaders are bumping up the spiritual shepherding of volunteer leaders, officially and unofficially. People who would never volunteer to lead a group or class are sending daily texts or live videos to share Scripture, devotions and encouragement. Some of our folks have purchased Zoom plans on their own to meet with small groups.
Invite your volunteer leaders to be shepherds. These next few weeks may produce more leaders in the church than we can imagine.
Use Social Media Over Digital
I’ve seen the church become more active on social media platforms. Pastors and church staff are on social media because it’s become necessary. But too often, what most people consider social, the church treats as digital. We often focus more on ourselves (our organization) than on the world (our “customers”). Andy Stanley just had a great podcast about this.
At the same time, I’ve been posting about cutting back on social media – not pulling away, but using it for something far more valuable than constant mindless scrolling. If you’re going to be on social media, help stir revival. Share invitations to online worship. Share scripture and hope from God’s word. Pray for people. Encourage the church. Keep teaching your folks to be the church on social media.
Pray God Will Bring Revival
The church is praying: Let God bring revival. Let people become more connected to faith and the church. Let this pandemic pass quickly. Let these steps we are taking in the digital world plant seeds that keep planting and growing after this season passes. Amen!