I’ll say it out loud for everyone. I’m over online services.
I miss my people.
I miss having meetings in person.
I miss live worship and live messages.
I miss the after-service patio hangs.
I miss in-person small groups.
It feels like I am running out of ideas to make online happen.
I know our team is for sure feeling the hard pivot towards online we made 8 weeks ago now (I know I am) and I know our leaders AND students are over meeting via Zoom. The shininess of online is for sure gone now and it does not seem (at least here in CA) that it’s going to come back in the somewhat near future.
It really is hard not to be discouraged as engagement seems to be going down in a season that even without Covid-19 would already be a dip when approaching summer.
I want to make clear that even though I am over online, our mission to preach the life-changing Gospel to students has not changed. We have been challenged, and we have innovated in ways that will change how we do ministry from now on.
We have become way more personal and intentional during this time because people are over online.
We have pushed our social platforms to be more intentional and thoughtful for engagement rather than a bunch of random posts throughout the week.
I have fully given over social media to someone else. It’s off my plate because it’s a lot. She is doing way better at it than I was.
We launched into a new platform of Twitch. Two of our leads are taking charge of growing it and engaging a demographic of students who were not engaged before.
We’re able to see the value in building our Youtube channel and making specific content for that for students to engage with. We have fun stuff, but also spiritual stuff.
We were able to come up with a creative way to honor and celebrate our seniors who are graduating (but not walking) by creating a virtual graduation for them and their families.
I have learned that I can probably work from home 1 and 1/2 days a week so I can be around my wife and boys a little more as we are in a crazy part of life with a 3-year-old and 6-month-old.
My point? While it might not be ideal, this time has showed us some things about our ministry. It didn’t create problems, but only highlighted the ones that were already there. These problems 1) we ignored, because we could, because meeting in person allowed it; or 2) we just didn’t see as problems in the first place.
I know for our team I have been asking these two questions:
- What’s one thing you are most certain you will keep doing that you didn’t do before?
- What’s something you will no longer do that you were doing?
I think asking these questions during this time will make sure this weird time of ministry is not wasted.
Let us not waste our time wishing it would be over. Let’s work on things that this time has highlighted for us.