Yesterday was interesting. Seems like every church… and church member… with a wi-fi connection was online. Some of them were obviously not ready for prime time. It made for some funny moments. The old joke is that some people have a face for radio. I’m beginning to feel the same way about churches.
But I’m a fan. I’m excited that churches have taken the media plunge. I also don’t think churches need to apologize for scrambling to get their worship services online. Public and personal worship is the fuel of mission. The problem is that too many churches have emphasized their worship services to the exclusion of other ministries. Hopefully, this isn’t another example.
Which is why I said at the end of Part One, the question of the hour for me is not where your church is worshipping this weekend, but where your church is ministering this week.
The building may be temporarily locked for public worship, but the church is open for business! We are the church and this could be our finest hour for ministry. Quarantines and shortages have limited some ministry options, but two primary areas should be our focus:
Serving the Members
Galatians 6:10 encourages us to take particular care of the members of our local church body. Churches seem to be doing a decent job of getting online. Streaming has become a priority. But if you look at the average age of most of our congregations, it’s clear that many of our members are probably “technology challenged.”
Assume nothing. Know where your church members are and how they are doing. And don’t wait for some magical system if you don’t have one. Phone. Text. Pony Express. Carrier pigeon. I don’t care! By any means necessary. Find some willing workers and get it done.
I drove to Memphis to see my parents yesterday. Both of them are over 80. It was comforting to me and my sisters to know how many members had been checking in on them already. That’s ministry!
Servicing the Community
Churches are at their best when they are ministering to the needs of people. And as this pandemic grows, so does the need for churches to leave the building and go to work. And it’s happening!
• Churches are distributing “grab and go” meals for the homeless.
• Churches are using their online platforms for cooking classes and health tips.
• Churches are providing breakfast and lunch for out of school students.
• Churches are leading blood donation drives.
• Churches are paying off outstanding medical bills for the underprivileged.
The Church of the Highlands in Birmingham is using its church parking lot as a remote testing site. Members are volunteering their services and people are coming by the hundreds. That’s what happens when the church leaves the building, even if it’s only as far as the parking lot!
And don’t overlook the value of simple ministries that don’t cost a dime. Canvass your community to determine their needs. Especially the seniors. Conduct a prayer walk that could include asking your neighbors how you can pray for them. Prayer requests are non-denominational, usually well-received, and amazing ice breakers.
It’s time for the church to leave the building!
Please Share This Post. Thanks! So how are churches in your area ministering in this crisis. What about your church? Any more outreach or service ideas?