Ministry in a Pandemic: 5 Ways Churches Can Stay Ahead of the Curve
The pandemic crisis is crippling many businesses and organizations. They are trying desperately to pivot and adjust to survive.
The big question being asked is what effect will this have in the long run?
While many experts have weighed in with their answers, there seems to be a growing consensus. This primarily includes how we work, communicate, and bring value to what we communicate.
Their consensus will affect congregations in five key areas. By addressing and evaluating our current practices, slight changes will allow gospel ministries to stay ahead of the curve to communicate the gospel to the unchurched.
#1: Printed Materials
Somewhat surprisingly, printed materials will still be important. The physical nature of picking up a brochure and exploring it is an experience that digital content has yet to replace. It is this visceral aspect that will make printed materials more valuable. People will take the time to scrutinize the content and design. If they are captivated, they will keep the printed materials for weeks or months until they feel prompted to take the next step.
#2: Digital Platforms
No surprise here. Digital platforms are here to stay. Most churches have already set up some type of digital channel for people to view worship services and sermon messages. The key will be learning how to take full advantage of visitors who come to the website. This starts with a new thought pattern on web design and content that focuses on reaching the lost. It ends with compelling calls to action that captures email addresses.
#3: Follow Up
There is still room on the banquet table for face-to-face contact with guests, visitors, and unchurched parents of children who attend your parochial school or pre-school. Building and actively utilizing an email list will be even more vital in conducting follow-up activity. This is a safe and proven method to communicate with people. It helps build a sense of community by sharing stories and pictures of members impacted by your ministry. It’s an effective way to help prospective members take that first step.
Videoconferencing is a new way of life. There has also been a huge rise in remote experiences. People are turning online for instruction and entertainment. They are far more comfortable signing up for an online class or webinar about a subject that interests them. If they are not ready for a Bible instruction class to become members, they may be interested in safely investigating an online course that addresses stress, anxiety, and how to find true hope and peace during stressful times.
Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. Young families without a church home are far different than the previous generation. They will value the recommendation from a friend to prompt action to discover more about a church. This can start by providing messages that communicate the value of Christ, because an unchurched audience does not have a base of understanding about what the Bible teaches. They know who Jesus is, they just don’t know why he’s relevant.
The world is changing so rapidly that its impossible to provide a sure-fire approach and method to communicate the gospel. It will require experimentation, adjustments, and ingenuity. One thing that we can be absolutely sure of is that God’s Word works. The power of his Word changes hearts, opens ears, and brings faith. For the sake of the gospel, we challenge our thoughts and strategies to gain an audience to hear the Word.
Perhaps there has been no greater time in our lives than right now to be his messengers to a lost, hurting world.
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