Here’s what 189 Pastors Need During COVID-19
To prepare for our upcoming COVID-19 Global Church Hackathon running 8-days from March 28 to April 4th, we asked 189 Pastors and Ministry Leaders their top issues during COVID-19, the type of tech solutions they are finding useful, and what they’d wish for during this pandemic.
The results are pretty insightful. Here are the top 2 with some helpful links and I’ll list out the remaining 9 below.
- We need technology and platform advice!
The entire global Church is asking the same question: “what technology can we leverage to be the church?” Church is not known for technology use and innovation. COVID-19 has forced Pastors into the corner to sort out how they will leverage tech to be the church, to disciple, baptize, partake in communion, share the gospel, and be with one another. The church MUST now think like a startup.
In the chart below, the rows on the left represent the needs from ministries and the columns at the top represent the size of ministries by annual revenue:
By four major categories:
The types of technology people are using/trying:
Technology and platform advice:
- Ministry From a Distance Resources. GREAT list of a whole bunch of resources for outreach, discipleship, and gathering as the church.
- Digital Tools for churches during the Coronavirus. A huge library of resources for how to do prayer, streaming, crisis management, Facebook, youth work, giving/tithing, and more (UK based)
- Use the Church Online Platform. “It’s more than a video player. It’s an agreeing-in-prayer, real-life, around-the-world community builder. With Chat, Live Prayer, and synced video streaming.” Created by Life.Church.
- Keep it simple. The last chart shows just how many options people are trying. Pick one, try it. Test it. Try another one.
2. We’re struggling to do life together.
How do we create a sense of nearness and support during isolation? It is a question the modern church has never had to answer at mass. Isolation is brutal. We were not designed for it and it’s going to eat away at us as a society. And herein-lies the Churches opportunity — to find creative and innovative ways to help our neighbors to feel loved, cared for and cherished in a very challenging moment.
Here are a few interesting ways you could do this:
- Encourage your people to help a neighbor. A great resource called “Loving our Neighbors in Difficult Times”
- Ensure small groups are meeting regularly via video
- Pastors can very easily make a daily devotional via video
- Play games online together.
- Text your people. Text them a simple, “how can I pray for you today?”
Here are the other 9 needs with a few tips I’d recommend:
3. Streaming — Specifically how to LIVE stream, or how to stream in higher quality, reach a hard-to-reach audience. Tip: Church Online Platform.
4. Technical Skills/Equipment — How to acquire and use streaming equipment (computers, phones, cameras, lighting). Tip: Check out Church Communications on Facebook.
5. Crisis Leadership Advice — A source of guidance above and beyond the church to help leaders assist their congregation. We need a game plan. Tip: Global Leadership Network — Leadership During Crisis.
6. Funding — Cashflow for the church. Donations, programs etc. Tip: explore online fundraising. Ask your people to remain with you.
7. Helping Vulnerable People — How to specifically help vulnerable populations like the elderly and the homeless. Tip: ask them how you can help.
8. Serving Beyond the Church — Reaching people beyond your congregation. Tip: Check out “Social Media for Missions: An Introductory Guide”
9. Trusting God — Priority is listed solely as trusting in God or seeking guidance from God. Tip: “Be still, and know that I am God.” — Psalm 46:10
Here’s my take.
There are two needs right now when it comes to technology.
- Get ministry leaders resources that already exist. Ask a tech leader in your ministry. Take in a webinar (our friends at Indigitous are running a series of webinars on tech for ministries). Contact the tech company of the product you’re considering for more info. Try things. Learn from it. Try again.
- Innovation. Hence COVID-19 Global Church Hackathon. But awesome stuff like people using 3D printers to make face shields for doctors and nurses as supplies are low or running out around the world. Activate your people to innovate. In the midst of devastation, there’s an opportunity for innovation.
Lastly, the world is struggling right now. Grieving. Fearful. Uncertain. The Church IS BUILT FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS! May we shine, together.
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A bit of context on the data:
- 77% of respondents were from Canada, 17% from the USA, and 6% international.
- We received responses between March 16 to March 26 and as you know, so much kept changing during those 10 days.
- A large portion are from Evangelical Churches
Thanks to our friends at Waybase for analyzing all the data and providing some great data from their platform.