1. Kids Ministry Vids
I started here on purpose. There is a massive content void, especially on YouTube for kids content. You may even have noticed the new feature on YouTube uploads that asks “is this made for kids?” Because 4 year olds are navigating the platform using the “speak search” feature. I just saw my little cousin tap the red button and say, “Videos of Paw Patrol.” So, if you thought that GenZ had too much screen time and free time before - it’s only that much more time right now.
Corona virus time is a wonderful time for children’s teachers to make little Bible studies. Teach songs. And give step by step instruction on crafts using materials that most families would have around the home. If you’re a little more technologically advanced, use PhotoBooth’s free green screen feature on your MacBook, or the green screen feature on iMovie to do “on location” teachings from Noah’s ark to the garden tomb.
PRO TIP: Challenge each kid to make a Youtube video with their siblings of a Bible story from their perspective using the barbies or other props they have at home right now. Post them. Raise up a generation of content creators. (These video posts would make great social ads for your church.)
2. Youth Ministry
Sports and homework excuses for missing out are completely gone. Capitalize on that! This is the time to record IGTV longer form teachings for your students. Guess what? Students who don’t even attend your group (yet) will be watching these. For devotional type content, (because now students have the time to have their personal devotions) upload a YouVersion verse graphic post with your text as the caption. Ask the students to comment “DONE” once they’ve read it - and share it to their story. Or, utilize blogspot, a free google blog feature you can link to from the IG bio. Hey, this is even a great time to connect with the parents via email. Your first Wednesday back is going to be like a massive family reunion.
Have small group discussions via google hangouts, zoom, or the iPhone’s newer “Group FaceTime feature.” This is the time to disciple those small group leaders you’ve been meaning to pour into. Hey, this is the time to connect on a personal basis with every student who’s ever attended your group.
PRO TIP: Now is the time to make that TikTok account for 60 second little “truths.” You’ll have time to learn the platform. Your students will have time to watch. Make the videos fun. PLUS - get your students to record some content you can share on the youth account. It will be hilarious. And again, you’re raising up a generation of content creators.
3. Family Ministry
We’ve been preaching for years about the need for the family dinner table and family devotions. Now is the time to begin those habits, even if just for a few minutes a day. But, what are some conversation starters for dinner? What are we supposed to read as a family? How do we study the Bible together or pray together?
In walks you, the guide. The Yoda to their Skywalker. The Mary Poppins to their Mr. & Mrs. Banks. You’ve created family devotion guides with questions to discuss as a family. Whether these are simple, written guides, videos you create, or RightNowMedia links. The possibilities are endless. You’ve created a prayer guide. You’ve given 1 fun, conversation starter question for dinner each night or a game the family can play together. The church continues to be the family’s greatest advocate.
PRO TIP: These make great social posts people can interact with and share photo evidence of their family’s fun in the comments. (Boost these to engage with more families in your community.)
4. Corporate Worship
There has been a little abuse, lately, of the verse “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together.” If you can text that family member “I’m there in spirit.” Or if you can Skype into a meeting and still “be there...” Why can’t we gather together via facebook live, Youtube live, or Life Church’s free streaming platform for churches.(Instagram & TikTok are great places, too.) This isn’t a permanent solution. But it is a temporary opportunity to utilize wisdom for the health of the church both spiritually and physically.
Even online services in the coming days are going to need to shift. Filming the worship team and preacher on the stage certainly have their place. But, if we aren’t able to gather together, maybe a more effective model would be your worship leader leading us in some acoustic guitar/piano songs from his living room before the pastor speaks to us from his. It helps us all feel like we are in this together and not “missing out” on something. Don’t worry, this isn’t something we are going to “grow accustomed to.” Have you met our kids? Yeah, we’re ready to be back with the church, in person, farrr away from our kids. And if people refuse to watch the online service regularly while trapped at home, they probably weren’t engaging with worship or the Great Commission in person either.
PRO TIP: What a great time to teach on hope, peace, the great commission, discipleship, bible study, parenting, etc. (It’s literally a great time to preach and teach on just about anything. You have a captive audience that are not worried about where they are heading for lunch in some cities.)
5. Out With The Old - Plan For The New
As a pastor, I hate meetings. Especially unimportant ones. One main reason I hate meetings is because it’s near impossible to accommodate everyone’s schedule. Not anymore. This up-to-8-week transition is a fantastic time to cancel some gatherings or ministries that you’d been wanting to cancel for a while. It’s also a great time to have meetings to plan the new things you want to start. Everyone’s schedule is fairly free these days. I have a rule when it comes to stuff in my house/closet. If I haven’t missed it in the 6 or more weeks I haven’t used it…or if I forgot I even had it…it’s time to throw it away.
PRO TIP: This is a great time to see who’s all in and who was only in ministry for the clout and stage time. The certainty of budget cuts or reprioritization in these days might be the perfect time for that staffer, deacon, or member who’s been hanging on like a booger on a nose hair - to go. They’re in and out. They make a lot of noise. You know they used to be there for a reason, but now they garner unwanted attention. (Is he talking about the booger or the person??? …yes)
6. Everything Social
Social media is a window and an outlet. It is a window into your ministry that the public will most certainly try to look through before ever showing up at your front door just like you do with hotels and restaurants. Now is the time to strategize and implement a digital strategy. Question posts. Prayer requests. Community focused content. And boosting that content means boosting not only your digital engagement but also your live attendance.
As far as the outlet is concerned, people spend too much time on facebook these days anyhow. Even more now during corona virus time. It’s time to stop their scroll with digital content they can plug into each day and recharge on. Q&A videos. Bible studies. Prayer guides. Scripture readings. And that’s just the surface of how deep you could go! (Notice announcements weren’t listed there.) Need help figuring this out? Email me!
These are scary days. Pastors are supposed to “live by faith.” But that faith is typically supplied by the faithful giving of God’s people. That’s also how we continue to pay the mortgage on the church property. The light bill. Buy supplies…. and most importantly, it is through faith-filled giving that we provide for the needs of the hurting and vulnerable in our community.
Now is the time to highlight that last one. Gently reach out to every giving unit and encourage them to become online givers. Not just “to” the church, but “through” the church. This is a great way to continue the mission of the church digitally and physically. Allow your church to be a place that even the community can give as you highlight the people you’ve been able to help during this difficult time.
PRO TIP: Rebel Give and Tithely are amazing resources!
The point of all of the above is the central point of the church anyway. To be a community that glorifies God and fulfills the Great Commission. From facebook groups to Google Hangouts, from livestreams to instagram stories - THIS IS A KEY TIME TO BUILD COMMUNITY. We’re building the kingdom not just castles at this point. We’re letting our city know that we care and we’re doing something about it. We’re letting our people know that we love them and we’re showing them that. We’re allowing the church to be what it was intended to be - the central hub for life, community, and maybe even communication.
And all that happens in groups…in circles…not rows.
THIS IS YOUR MOMENT, CHURCH!
If you’d like help dissecting any of these, I’d love to schedule a call with you.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org