Church plants innovate during COVID-19
Church plants, by their very nature, have to be good at making changes and adapting quickly. In the first few years, many of these young churches face moving to different locations, birthing new ministries, changing leadership styles and leaders, and constantly learning in order to mature their ministry to help it be sustainable and grow.
Given that flexibility is a “must do” in Church Planting, we have seen many of our church plants be quick to adapt and adopt new ministry routines and ideas during the season of COVID-19 to further lean into the Great Command (Matthew 22) and Great Commission (Matthew 28). Here is just a small sample of the diverse ways several of our newest churches are going beyond digital worship and finding creative ways to do ministry.
Nearly all of our church plants are finding unique ways to safely volunteer their time, talents or treasure to give resources to local food shelves, people in their community and beyond. The many ways these churches are volunteering could be an article all on its own!
Renew Church in Eau Claire, WI, created an interactive page on its website for folks to both request different forms of assistance, and for others to help meet those needs in and around their community.
Restoration Covenant Church in Apple Valley, MN, is having congregation members share “encouragement videos.” These brief 2-4 minute videos sometimes connect to the Sunday theme but are often just the “overflow” of something good someone has seen or experienced during this pandemic. The church has enjoyed seeing and hearing from a variety of voices and faces. While it is extra work to crate these videos, people love being involved and seeing one another throughout the week.
Across the St. Croix River, The Crossing Covenant Church in North Hudson, WI, is doing a “Crossing Teens Talk Show” on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. The teens submit the conversation topics anonymously ahead of time, and leaders and students dig into these topics together. These conversations have covered a lot of ground—including processing grief and loss (losing temporary vs. eternal things) and conversations around character and contentment.
Catalyst Covenant Church in St Paul, MN, has hosted several webinars with live Q&A on mental health in the time of COVID-19 and on financial wisdom during this difficult season. As a result, the church has seen numerous people join home groups, which now all meet in digital formats. The Thursday night Facebook and YouTube Live drop-in Bible study has also been a source of connection and outreach.
Many of our pastors are also realizing the need to simply connect with their congregations, bring some levity and foster simple interaction to build community as many of us are isolated.
At Eden Community Covenant Church in Coon Rapids, MN, Zoom hangouts have been a way for people to connect and be real with one another.
At Real Life Covenant Church in Waseca, MN, beyond moving all of their ministry online, Pastor Michael Behm reminds us that our pastors and planters also need to model to our people the value of joy and a good smile every now and then, even in this moment:
How has your church adapted to meet needs, reach out and be a light in this time? We would love to hear from you! May our methods change but our passion to bless and be a blessing, and reach out with the hope of Jesus, remain steadfast even in these turbulent times.