As a church leader, a communicator, a pastor, or even member we have been tasked to make more than a few big decisions in a very short time. Maybe there are 10,000 members of your congregation who depend on your meetings for encouragement, for education and direction, for friendship and community. Maybe there are 1,000 members. Maybe there is just 1. For many of us, myself included, our church and the people who meet us there each week are our home, our refuge, our support, our pride, and our joy. So how do we best serve our people? How do we continue to build community and win souls for Jesus if we cannot meet?
Communication is key. Ever heard that before? Although it’s cliché, it’s true. Keep your congregation informed. They are going to ask questions and going to have opinions, most likely a lot of them. Keep the lines of communication open and honest. Tell them all of the “who, what, when, where, and why’s” involved with the decisions you are making as a staff.
Cover all platforms. Put your information out there: web, social media, email, and text. Short of skywriting you really can’t go too far. Go above and beyond to get the word out there. Be as timely as you can and considerate of your audience.
Make it easy. Whatever course of action you choose for your church, make the transition as easy as you can. If you decide to stream using Facebook live, email a direct link and make it public so even those without an account can view. Make the move easily accessible and convenient as possible.
Be flexible. The situation is going to change every week and maybe every day, be flexible. You may be live streaming for 2 weeks or maybe 2 months. You may need to adapt to online giving or small group meetings over Skype. Be prepared to make some changes and open to more ways of facilitating community.
Cut yourself some slack. Are you being pressured to make decisions? Are you being stretched to do things out of your comfort zone? Are you frantically googling “how to have church online” and “what is an IK multimedia iRig2?” Are you working until 10 or 11 PM? Are you overwhelmed? You are not alone. Celebrate what you have accomplished so far and worked diligently to complete the rest.
You got this pastor, communicator, church leader. You got this friend.