Strategies for Church Planters Adjusting to COVID-19 and Social Distancing
What do you do if you are a church planter preparing for a launch day later in 2020 or 2021? The landscape is changing day-by-day right now. Things may look different a week or two weeks from now. Even so, I wanted to share some things that can help church planters move forward in a time where social distancing is the rule and there is a pandemic impacting people’s live like we have not seen in recent memory.
If you are a church planter here are 15 things you can do right now:
- Pray –
- That the spread of this virus would be contained and that we will see a turnaround in the number of people being infected and dying from this disease.
- For healthcare workers.
- For wisdom for leaders.
- For those impacted by the virus.
- For people to place their trust in God.
- Follow Community guidelines regarding social distancing. Educate yourself on what others are doing to implement these guidelines and learn from their messaging.
- Have contingency plans for launch day. Have three timelines. For example:
- Plan for your September Launch Day.
- Have a backup plan to launch in October
- What would it look like to launch at the beginning of November or in 2021?
- Website – Make sure to have a landing page if not a recruiting website up as soon as possible.
- Giving – Make giving easy by having online options available. Some platforms will offer free use of their giving platform for church planters for an introductory period.
- Go online with your message now. Don’t wait for Launch Day or Sunday to start offering hope and prayer. Take advantage of social media platforms to offer messages of hope, pointing people to God, encouragement, and prayer.
- Offer online prayer meetings.
- Offer daily short encouragement.
- Offer a listening ear. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is the time to hear them out. FaceTime or call people and just check-in, ask questions, listen, and offer to pray with them.
- Stay informed. Be in touch with what is happening in our nation, your state, and your local community. What guidelines are being given and what needs are being presented that can be prayed for?
- Be Others Focused – Make everything you do and say is about the people you are serving and not about you and your church or your unique needs in this uncharted landscape of church planting.
- Prepare the things now that don’t involve meeting with people or will take away from your time focusing on people once some of the meeting guidelines are lifted.
- Look for the opportunities to serve that are being presented that may not be available if circumstances were different. Serving local business and medical professionals For example:
- Offering free coffee in the drive-through at a local coffee shop to medical professionals.
- Support for families at home with kids.
- Stay connected to your church network and other ministry leaders for encouragement, resources, and new ideas to continue moving forward.
- Broadcast – Learn how to use live streaming platforms for online presentations. For example:
- Use money wisely. Make every dollar count and save when you can and spend only what is necessary. Wait when you can, and trust God with your financial preparations.
- Use technology to stay connected to your team during social distancing
- Group Messaging Apps: Slack and GroupMe
- Cloud Services for collaboration: Google Drive & Evernote
- Video Messaging: Marco Polo & Google Hangouts
- Facebook: Groups, Page, Chat, & Messaging
- Youtube: Public Videos, Private Videos for Your Team, & Past Broadcasts
What else would be helpful? Add to the list in the comments below. Thanks!