A month ago, I posted a blog (here) that outlined some cogent points on ministry coming out of the pandemic. In that post, I suggested that (1) Everyone in the congregation should be in a Life Group (class meeting), and most should also be in a Discipleship Group (band meeting). I expanded on that idea here. In addition, I recommended that we needed to engage with our neighbors and go to them, rather than waiting for them to come to us (you can read that here). This week, I want to expand on a third point, that we need to continue our online ministries going forward.
No one can doubt that the pandemic forced us into a whole new world of ministry online. We had dabbled with some Zoom meetings, and had even put some of our worship services and sermons online. But nothing prepared us for the huge shift of our ministries to online forms. Let me correct that: God was positioning us for such a time as this by putting in place the people and technologies that enabled us to pivot to online forms of ministry!
Ric Seaver has been invaluable to us as we stepped into the online ministry world. Those first few weeks were hard, yet exhilarating, and Ric and I experimented and implemented some really interesting ideas. Obviously, the worship service went online. At first, we just used my iPhone and Ric walked around live streaming the in-person worship (if you want to relive that wonderful experience, check it out here!). We gradually added technology and staff to expand and enhance our online presence. Then Ric expanded his Knights of Agon online gaming ministry. I started a Daily Devotions live stream every morning at 9:00 and then a Morning Prayer time on Zoom at 7:30. We streamed some Worship Nights, instructional videos (Trevor’s music instruction videos are still the most watched videos on our YouTube channel), preschool chapel, and so many others. My years in the radio broadcast business prior to entering the ministry also helped me to feel comfortable streaming programs. In short, we entered a somewhat hesitantly brave new world!
We are back to full in-person activities. And while some still choose to wear masks, they are at least showing up for worship, small groups and more. Do we really need to continue our online ministry?
In fact, I think it is even more important that we continue our online presence now than it was when we first began it. Because now, many people have grown accustomed to online church and in the future, online may be the ONLY way they attend church.
So, if we want to reach people with the Gospel, we need to have an online presence that is attractive, informative, and Gospel-centered. Will it result in more people attending in-person at The Fount? Only God knows, but our purpose is not just to get people in the pews (so to speak), but rather to get the Gospel into people’s hearts! And as long as God has provided us with the means and the talent to do so, I believe we need to continue as much online ministry as we can. But that means all of us, not just the staff. I would welcome whatever participation and leadership from the congregation as possible!
Three years ago we would never have imagined what our ministry would look like today. But with your support and encouragement, we are reaching people we would never have reached. And the potential has no limits!
Thanks be to God!