Churches are still all over the map when it comes to in person worship and activities, in the building or in the parking lot, or online only, etc. And even if churches are meeting in person, many of its members are still joining online only. This is probably going to continue for many months at some level.
How do we stay connected in a deep way with our church family if our only interaction for many is online? How do we serve them well as pastor and leader in a season where they are probably anxious, isolated, and uncertain (many have lost the pattern and habits that kept their life on track)?
Here is an idea that one pastor is doing that I think is a great one. He also was newly appointed on July 1st and had to figure out how to connect with his church family that he did not know and did not know him. I am convinced this will work well for long term pastors, staff, and church leaders as well as some in a brand-new appointment.
- Drop by the homes of as many people as you can.
- There is no need to announce you are there. This can take just a few minutes.
- Pray for the family or individual who lives there (stand in the driveway, the parking lot, the street, or stay in your car if that works best).
- Leave a note (prepared or spontaneous) letting them know you prayed for them in person. You can leave a prayer written out for them. Leave a symbol of faith, peace and hope is good too, (a small cross or other remembrance of this moment).
- In a smaller church the pastor can do this, and in larger churches staff and lay leadership can help.
This is just a simple idea, and I know many are doing this type of outreach in various forms and styles already. When we add an emphasis on those that might be ill or the ones that have given a prayer request and also include those who are guests in one of our online offerings, this can make a real difference in a personal, Jesus loves us way.
This is also good for pastors too; keeps us balanced and spiritually healthy, and often fulfills the criteria of the way we came into the ministry in the first place.
Rev. Mike Ramsdell, Executive Director
Center for Evangelism, Mission & Church Growth