As it increasingly looks like public gatherings are to be restricted during the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus), which would include some church services, here are a few options in ways that you can continue to meet and connect with your church, in place of gathered environments, small groups and pastoral conversations.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- Hebrews 10:24–26
Live streaming options are available to reach your congregation with encouraging messages and sermons, which are helpful in times of not meeting, so you can keep sharing what you feel God is saying for your church.
Your content could be a slightly reduced sermon, news for the church and prayer for all those watching (which might include those without faith, who would appreciate the prayer at this time).
You only need a smartphone or computer to run this from your home, without needing additional equipment.
Post links to these on social media and forewarn your church that you will be using this method so that people are able to join you. You can also use this as a way to invite people to join you who are not part of your church, but might be finding these time worrying and would find a connection to church and prayer helpful.
Spotify and YouTube playlists
Create worship playlists so that those who rely on sung congregational worship are able to engage in a similar way. Discuss this with your worship leader and use your social media channels to share playlists with your church.
The aim here is to equip people with songs to listen to and sing along to, that help them in their worship and could play a useful part in their rhythm of worship.
Using FaceTime, Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp video calls you can connect, pastorally, with those who need face-to-face connection during this time, especially for those vulnerable or at risk from COVID-19, those living alone, those in isolation or who have self-isolated.
You only need a smartphone or a computer to make this possible, without cost and without leaving your home.
Google Hangouts, Zoom and group chats on Facebook can mean that Small Groups can still meet, talk together and see each other using their smartphone or computer. Community is so important at these times, especially where larger gatherings are not possible, so do encourage your Small Groups to make use of technology to continue connecting with their Small Group community.
This can be especially useful if one or more of the Small Group has self-isolated, or if your group would be happier connecting digitally.
Discussions, prayer, encouragement and fun can still happen during this time and are all the more important.