Virtual meetings are far better than no meetings. We can see each others’ faces, hear and respond; and attendance in some information groups can be better by internet than by driving.
Staying in touch with people kind of dropping out of church should be easier after this. Most of us have learned how to use the phone better, even text, and provide lessons on facial connection on the screen for those who cannot attend and who are not techie.
We have learned to get better digital equipment. The livestream service is here to stay, even when we are live also. It seems worth the cost, a necessary budget item.
And to look at the camera instead of pretending there are 200 people in the empty worship center. We can really talk warmly and personally to a camera because we care about the people receiving the picture in their living room or bed.
A loving and clear worship service with clear and warm Bible teaching can connect around the world.
I have heard many encouraged pastors tell of new contacts in other countries. Some have even started zoom study groups with them.
There exist pastors and staff people who can get by without working hard or very long some weeks. If Covid can be an excuse, surely there are others. Some staff leaders did not ask for reports or give coaching input during this time, and production in some cases argues that they should have. And still should.
This goes back to pre-Covid, but most of us have decided online giving is more important than we once planned.
This is not “I told you so,” but rather “I told me but I would not listen.” You know, “analog church,” passing the offering plates as an act of worship, and all that. But digital giving also helps, and can be used as spiritual priests “do good,” which is another act of worship, as seen in Hebrews 13:15, 16.
We need exercise regularly. Okay, I threw that one in because some people ate too much during lockdown. But we all know the drill. And we all know how good health keeps us going better and longer and helps others listen to us.
We sort of learned that we should receive guests in a better and smarter way. The lesson came from how hard it is to connect with the new livestream viewers, but it reminds us to develop better ways to get conversations going with the digital and the analog guests, through the screen and also through the front door of the church.
We all need community, real warmth from a group where you are known and loved. Some groups have done pretty well meeting “on the screen.” But even the giant news outlets have written about how people need each other in loving community. Everything we always knew about Adult Bible Fellowships and Home ABFs is more true than ever!
Maybe as much as anything we learned to teach hope and the presence of our Lord in the middle of something painful. And even after Covid there will be people hearing us and watching us who are in deep pain, and most of them will not be helped with a health-and-wealth promise. We must keep getting better at teaching the Bible for a painful setting somewhat like the one it was written in.
That we must always show up with reality-truth and sincere love, not one or the other. Which we always knew, and this makes us re-up!