Last March, when the novel coronavirus reached pandemic levels, churches everywhere shut down to in-person worship. People flocked to social media and live streaming services to continue their worship while in quarantine, and it hasn’t stopped since.
Church outreach is just as important — if not more — than it was a year ago. As the pandemic continues to affect the lives of many, it has also managed to keep many churches away from in-person worship, leaving them to find creative ways to manage their time.
Church outreach ideas are plentiful and remain prevalent, but that doesn’t mean it’s become easier to keep people involved. So, where should you turn if your church has run out of ideas? Luckily, we’re here to help.
Read on to learn 7 creative church outreach ideas to keep yourself and your church family motivated.
The safest, easiest option for bolstering effective church outreach strategies is through live streaming solutions.
Whether there’s a person that can man the camera and take care of technical difficulties during the live stream or service has to be hired to help with the entire thing, it’s worth the extra bit of effort to keep an entire congregation safe and healthy.
2. Consider Drive-In or Drive-Thru Options
Last Easter, a priest in Detroit got creative by using a water gun to squirt Holy Water at his congregants. Since they couldn’t meet in-person on Easter, churchgoers utilized a drive-thru to receive their Easter blessing in a safe, socially distanced way.
If your church were to consider in-person meeting options, a drive-thru or drive-in would be safest. Nobody would have to get out of their car, and everyone in attendance would remain safe.
3. Communicate Hope and Report Facts Only
One of the most important things to consider during these tough times is not losing hope, but still remaining vigilant of the truth. Only report the fact that government officials and other organizations (like the World Health Organization) have shared, and encourage churchgoers to abide by any guidelines that have been put in place.
It’s easy to take advantage of others in times of fear, and your church has a powerful voice in affecting others and how they view the entire situation.
Instead of turning to hate and misinformation, you can make a conscious effort to make sure you have all of the facts correct.
4. Take Precautions to Protect the Vulnerable
Many churches have partnered with local, public health organizations and ministries to talk about the prevention of influenza in the past, and the same has been happening throughout the pandemic — especially in hard-to-reach communities.
By taking these steps to educate the congregation, as well as the public, your church makes an active effort to keep the general public healthy, and the strength to show others that anyone can involve themselves in the church at any given point in time.
5. Tap into Smaller Groups
This is the time to tap into and use the resources that smaller groups of people can provide.
Set up Zoom meetings or Google Hangouts. Allow them to figure out creative ways of meeting while still staying safe, and encourage them to meet more frequently.
There are even ways for pastors and other church staff to get involved. Smaller families, pregnant women, and even children can be considered through virtual showers or interactive sessions with group leaders.
For example, a group story time in the morning for children and a “family worship time” every night of the week can encourage daily worship, even if it’s only for 10-30 minutes a day.
6. Get Creative on Social Media
Whether it’s games, polls, videos, stories, or a Facebook Live session, getting creative on social media is a huge way to keep everyone involved right now.
Whether it’s a ten-minute musical arrangement pre-recorded and posted to social media or a Spotify playlist that everyone can tune into at any time of the day, encouraging a focus on God’s healing presence and salvation could be enough to pull someone through.
7. Encourage Empathy
Most importantly, encourage a sense of empathy in everything your church does at all times, but especially during these times. If someone is in need, encourage others to help if they’re able. If they’re unable, let them know that they’re being watched over as well.
No matter the situation, people also benefit from the grace of others in times of turmoil, and understanding someone’s situation can go a long way in helping. If someone is sick, maybe it’s possible to connect them with another person who had the virus (safely, of course) and recovered so that they don’t feel as alone.
If you know multiple people that live alone right now, connecting them could a long way. The same goes for people that have lost loved ones. Grief is an easy thing to empathize with when someone is able and knowing that others are there and can feel their pain too is a healing, powerful feeling.
Consider These Methods of Church Outreach to Encourage Your Congregation
In times of struggle or discomfort, people turn to what’s most familiar to them. Sometimes, it can be a simple walk outside or gathering with friends and family. For others, they find comfort in their congregation.
In these odd times, though, that can be difficult. Creating and utilizing different methods of church outreach can help those that might be feeling alone or under stress right now. These 7 methods are the perfect way to do exactly that.
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