COVID-19 has been spreading fast at religious gatherings across the world. Worshippers from some areas are going as far as tempting fate. For instance, more than 50 congregants in Texas’ Calvary Chapel of San Antonio tested positive for the virus after holding in-person services. So how can we resolve such problems? By utilizing what’s right in front of us – technology!
How Church Leaders Should Handle the Pandemic
Somehow, in our despair, the Bible comforts believers with the hope that things will not stay broken. A time is coming where sickness and death will no longer be an issue. Until that time, we pray, mourn, love, endure, and do the best we can. All church leaders are tasked with shepherding their congregations through times of crisis. With that in mind, it only makes sense to embrace technology and all the positive results it brings with it.
Modern technology allows church leaders to ensure their congregation is:
- watching their services online,
- reading church newsletters,
- keeping up with their social media updates,
- connecting with other parish members, and
- participating in online events.
Utilizing Modern Technology
Most churches realize that although they have had digital platforms for years, they haven’t created the sense of connection that an online audience requires. Today, churches emphasize increasing production value, making services more engaging to watch, and giving worshippers something they weren’t getting from sitting alone at a screen — a sense of community.
Church members will be inspired by the continued work in the virtual space and may perhaps even want to switch to a safer virtual model in their own professional and social contexts. A church planning to live-stream its services for the first time faces a steep learning curve. Below are several steps you should follow to make the digital transformation easier for you and your congregants.
While it is great seeing churches in droves taking the much-needed steps to stream their services online, it also comes with the loss of some interaction among church families. Fortunately, this is a problem that Zoom can solve.
Zoom is the best communication tool to help you organize virtual video conference meetings among church members and staff. It allows you to hold interactive services, where you can schedule a time for your church members to connect and share with others. You can host meetings of up to 100 people, with a 40-minute limit on group meetings. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can access other features such as custom URLs, 24-hour meeting limits, etc.
- Mobile Apps
You should also consider launching a mobile app so worshippers can watch live services, take notes, submit prayer requests, or engage with one of the church’s ministry partners. Other traditional live stream platforms you can use include Facebook Live or YouTube. However, it’s crucial to note that they are not as interactive as Zoom.
By migrating online, church leaders can ensure their members still receive the scripture. However, going digital doesn’t come without its set of challenges. Members of the church who are deaf or hard of hearing are disadvantaged. Video captioning is the best way to involve them. Luckily, there’s a reliable and high-quality professional transcription service ready to help you out!
Although online sermons pull in a global audience, foreign speakers can have a hard time understanding the meaning behind some words and phrases. While some people are good at processing a spoken foreign language, others feel more comfortable reading instead. By printing the transcribed text, readers can peruse your content slowly, with the aid of dictionaries and other tools. These transcripts also come in handy for busy people, those who don’t have adequate access to the internet, and interactive devotion sessions.
When it comes to mobilizing your church members on a virtual platform, you’ll require brevity and discipline in abundance to create a successful communication plan. Shifting to virtual church services means that you continue to inspire and assure parishioners that the pandemic will surely pass. COVID-19 isn’t the first pandemic the Christian faith has seen, and it won’t be the last. The Church’s brightest days are still ahead. Set up a virtual meeting with your church leaders, and make your services accessible to everyone!