Well, there is no denying that the world has changed in the last weeks and that every day is bringing more unsettling news and headlines related to the pandemic. So now is the time to do what the Church does best – be a church that reaches out! Be the light in a dark world, bring hope to those who are fearful and anxious, share the Good News to a world that is weary from nothing but bad headlines. It is time for the Church to be bold and courageous!
Your church may not be able to meet in your traditional building in a traditional way, but that shouldn’t stop you from sharing God’s love. Here are six ways to put your church’s faith into action:
1. Don’t Stop Meeting – even if it’s only digitally. Online church services are no longer just the territory of the megachurch. With today’s powerful smartphones, an internet connection, your website and a church Facebook account even the smallest church can hold services and other updates online. We have created a free resource to make it easier – just set it up once and every time you go live on Facebook (or Youtube) anyone on your website will be able to watch with your own “Live” link.
Bonus Idea – Provide downloadable children’s lessons and activities that the kids can do while the parents watch your sermon online. Here is an Easter Activity Book to get you started.
2. Be Visible – People in your community may think that your church is no longer “in business” because there are no cars in your parking lot. So make sure everyone who passes by knows you can be found online. Put up Banners outside your church promoting your online service times and website address. Customizable Street Signs are great for promoting the various ways you are serving the community. Give your church members yard signs to post promoting your website and online times to people in their neighborhoods who may be looking for hope.
3. Love Thy Neighbors – Church is more than a place you go to, it’s a community that loves one another and members of your congregation are your best outreach tool. Encourage your members to reach out and let the people who live near them know that they are available to help if needed. New DoorHangers and Invitecards provide room to fill in a person’s contact information so their neighbors can reach them. There is also room on the back to include your online service times and details.
4. Promote Your Church on Social Media – During this time of social distancing people in your church and community will spend more time on Facebook to connect with people and get their news. Your church can use this opportunity to reach a completely new audience through Facebook Ads. Unlike Facebook Posts which are only seen by your followers and their friends, Ads are seen by people in your geographic area surrounding your church. Outreach handles the design, targeting and ad placement for you. Use Facebook Ads to let your community know about your online services and other ways you are serving your community during this time. Outreach provides Facebook Ad packages that fit any size church and can help you reach your community easily.
5. Be Where They Are – During this time when people are isolated, their use of Facebook and other social media will explode. How can you not only encourage your church members but also empower them to be digital missionaries? Outreach Social is the only service that has 2000+ ready to use social graphics (including ones for the coronavirus), auto-posting and the ability for every post to be customized automatically with your church logo. On average churches see a 3X increase in likes, comments, and shares than with their posts alone. To help churches right now it is available at 50% off for only $7.50 per month with the annual plan.
Get Free virus-related posts – Click here to get started.
Bonus Idea – Many families will be looking for ideas, lessons, and ways to keep children and teens occupied while schools are closed. Set up special Facebook groups for your different aged ministries and “go live” in the groups, sharing, reading stories, providing craft ideas etc…
6. Show How You Are Prepared – If your church is in an area where you can still meet in person, or if you are able to resume meeting in person, you can make returning guests feel more comfortable by displaying a banner or sign that explains the steps you have taken to ensure that your facilities are disinfected, clean and healthy.
Visit Outreach.com to see all Coronavirus-related resources.
No matter the crisis, Jesus’ church can still shine bright! Please share with us how you are reaching your community during this crisis – post photos or share your story to our page.