For the longest time, Church attendance and the offering plate were the ultimate predictors of how your Church is doing. Church is going great if there are lots of people in attendance and the plate was full. However, if there are not as many people attending, Church is not going great. But then came the Covid pandemic, With that, Church attendance took a nose dive and it has not really recovered. At least not for most Churches.
While Church attendance declined during the pandemic, it has also caused Churches and ministries to think outside the box and look for new opportunities to minister. After all, when Churches couldn't meet physically, in-person, you had to think beyond Sunday morning attendance. Because of that, there were some really creative opportunities that ministries acted on and people experienced spiritual growth during that time.
Unfortunately, now that the pandemic has passed, many Churches have gone back to ministry more like how it used to be. The only problem with that, people still aren't coming back to Sunday morning Church services. That is why we have to continue to think of different online and in-person opportunities beyond Sunday to minister to and serve the community.
What other opportunities are there beyond Sunday that Churches can focus on?
- YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine. When people want answers to something they will Google it. And, because Google owns YouTube, Google will recommend videos. Creating long form videos on YouTube can really help encourage people in their faith and help answer spiritual questions people are asking.
- Short Form Videos. TikTok popularized this during the beginning of the covid pandemic. Because of their success, Instagram started Reels and YouTube started Shorts. And, all three platforms are highly promoting these short form videos. They want people to see your videos! Use these short form videos to share spiritual encouragement, follow up on Sunday messages or encourage others with something fun. This is a great ministry opportunity now.
- Asynchronis Communities. These are digital groups such as Facebook Groups and Discord. They are not bound by time, but organized by topic, goal or learning. The more you engage and interact in the groups, the better the ministry opportunity. Check out our blog post on 10 tips on how to run an asynchronous community here.
In Person Opportunities
- Community Events. Every community has events throughout the year. Instead of always inviting people to your event, why not be part of their event. Whether it's a Fall festival, Spring event, Christmas event or 5K, look for opportunities and be part of those opportunities to serve these already planned events.
- Host an Event FOR the Community. These are events such as a Fall Festival or a service event such as a Thanksgiving food or Christmas gift collection. Here you are mobilizing the community to give back to the community and you can build a lot of good will within the community. Don't create events in direct competition to the already scheduled community event highlighted above. However, these are opportunities to serve your community or provide a fun activity that is currently missing within your own community.
For too long the only judge of ministry success has been Sunday morning attendance and the offering plate. Now, in large part due to online ministry and its potential reach, there are a ton more opportunities for ministry to happen. Highlighted in this blog post were just a few of the different opportunities, but there are more. Prayerfully ask God to guide you and your Church to help minister to people in your online or in-person communities. Act in obedience and see what God does.
Through the Digital Church Network we are helping physical and digital churches better understand the discipleship process, and helping churches and church planters understand this and other decentralized mindset shifts. Joining the DCN is free and be encouraged!
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