Like most churches in America, we have moved from our regular meetings to some version of “meeting online” during the coronavirus crisis. This has had an unexpected benefit: people who don’t join us normally have been tuning in to our “online meetings” and some seem to be really enjoying them.
We are having short “services” on Facebook Live. We’re doing it very simply, very informally, in someone’s home, and having a lot of fun!
Who is tuning in?
The friend who I have invited to our church service but who never comes. The guy who has visited several times but not very often. The woman who was a member but then moved away to another city and stopped attending church at all.
These are some examples of the people who have been watching our “online meetings.” I find that really interesting.
How do we adjust?
As church leaders, we decided that this should be something we pay close attention to–the fact that our meetings are now being watched by a good number of people who are not typical churchgoers. Not to “dumb down” the message at all, but just to realize that there are many audience members who aren’t churchgoers and adjust accordingly.
Imagine if you looked out at the congregation on a typical Sunday morning and saw that 25% of the people there were not your regulars. First and second-time visitors. You’d adjust somewhat to make sure that things are clear for them, in order to be hospitable. So that’s what we’re doing.
The point is this: this crisis has created an opportunity, and we want to be aware of how God wants to use it.
The opportunity is this: there is suddenly a new, easy, on-ramp for those on the fringes of our church to get a taste of what our church life is like, by tuning in to our virtual service.
Let’s pay attention to how God wants to use this time.