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How Pastors can Pivot for Discipleship and Community in a Distributed World


In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a significant change in how the church uses digital platforms for gathering communities together. In the months to come, the question I’ve been asking myself is, “How far back will the pendulum swing?” My prayer is that the church embraces technology for the long haul and doesn’t just go back to business as usual. Here’s 3 simple ways to embrace tech as a part of your church’s discipleship and community building.

1. Continue live streaming your services.

While social distancing has limited meeting face-to-face, it hasn’t stopped people from attending church. People are looking for answers. People who may never step inside your church are looking for answers. If the number of viewers we are seeing for church streaming today is any indication, there are a significant number of people looking for answers that don’t regularly go to church. Some of them will find hope and healing in your services and will want to connect for the long haul. Don’t make it hard. Don’t shift the relationship expectations. You’ve already figured out how to live stream. Just keep doing it.

2. Expand on sermon content a few times a week.

Churches are content and connection engines. How many times have you finished preparing for a sermon and left hours of great content on the cutting room floor? It doesn’t have to be polished production but taking 10-15 minutes 1-2 days a week to expand on the sermon, answer questions that you received, or having a conversation with another person about the sermon content on camera can be a great opportunity to create conversation throughout the week. Go live, post a video you recorded on your phone, whatever you are comfortable with and have the time for. Post it. Encourage comments and questions and then answer them promptly.

3. Offer online or hybrid small group options moving forward.

People are busy but people are looking for connections with others. Provide the technology to allow your leaders to facilitate online small groups. Conferencing software like Zoom, Jitsi, Google Meet, and allow time-strapped members to meet with others online weekly. Encourage a once a month face-to-face meeting. Purchase digital versions of small group curriculums that can serve the whole church.


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About Author

Jennifer Miles
Jennifer Miles

Jen is the Product Manager with Living As One and Bible storyteller for @Spoken.Bible. Through both of these, she is empowering churches to reach people for Christ and lead life change.

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