Wait, Don’t Stop!

4 Areas To Continue Tech Usage Post Lockdown

The easiest thing for ministry leaders to do post lockdown is to go back to business as usual. What is business as usual?

  • It means breathing a sigh of relief and being thankful that this season has passed
  • It is a return to the old way of doing church
  • It means stopping, or at minimum reducing, the additional online engagement efforts
  • It means ignoring the new normal

There will be a huge temptation for church leaders to go back to business as usual post lockdown. Why?

  • The old way is always the easier way
  • No one was trained to minister effectively during a global pandemic
  • For many, it was stressful trying to learn new ways to engage

Let me be one of the many voices saying, “Wait, don’t stop doing what you were doing during lockdown!” Your community needs you. Business, as usual, is no longer a viable option. If you stop engaging with people online and reaching out like you were during lockdown you invalidate your witness moving forward.

This could not be truer when it comes to your ministry efforts to your disability community. It may be that during lockdown they experienced church for the first time ever because of your additional efforts. Isolation was a reality for the disability community before lockdown and will remain so for many. If ministry to the disability community ceases because lockdown is over it communicates to them that they are second class citizens. It communicates they are only worthy of your ministry if there a global pandemic.

Below are four areas to continue to use technology post lockdown in your effort to bring hope to your community. In each area, there are many ways to bring hope. We will focus on two easy ways for each.

Staff

  1. Work Offsite
    1. A laptop or smartphone makes working remotely a reality for all.
    2. Try to work outside the office as much as you do inside the office. Don’t do this just for the sake of being “out of the office.” Do it with intentionality.
      1. Find out where individuals from your ministry work in the community. Work nearby and drop in to say hello. Show them that ministry doesn’t only happen when they make the effort to come to you. Return the favor and show up where they are.
      2. Work from a local coffee shop and invite volunteers, parents, and individuals from your ministry to meet up with you for a drink. Don’t forget to treat them!
    3. Intentional Usage of Social Media
      1. Don’t just use social media to merely post photos.
      2. Create a Facebook Group and post challenges, encouragement, and updates about your ministry.

Volunteers

  1. Provide Online Training
    1. Training is the one thing that every volunteer can use more of.
    2. The difficulty has always been scheduling in-person training and getting people to show up. Online recorded training allows you to equip volunteers around the convenience of their schedules.
  2. Connect People to People Not Programs
    1. People should always support people not just programs of the church.
    2. Assign volunteers to groups of individuals from your ministry, like a shepherd and their sheep.
    3. Technology allows volunteers to connect with individuals from your ministry in meaningful ways outside the walls of the church. Encourage them to call, text, email, connect over social media on a minimum of a once a week basis.

Families

  1. Online Support Groups
    1. Parents need each other. They need to be able to seek guidance from other parents that have walked further along the path that they are on. They also need to be given the ability to offer support to other parents not as far along.
    2. As a ministry leader, you don’t need to be an expert here. All you need to do, in most situations, is to provide parents the platform or opportunity to gather. It can be as easy as scheduling and sending out a Zoom link or creating a Facebook Group for parents.
  2. Resource Sharing
    1. Providing good resources for families is an easy thing for any ministry leader to do.
    2. Create a page on your website with links to great resources.
    3. Purchase digital copies of good books to share.
    4. Provide a Bible reading plan.

Individuals

  1. Relationship Building
    1. Don’t just assign relationship-building tasks to your volunteers. You the shepherd of your flock and you need to lead.
    2. Create a digital calendar with reminders on when you need to connect to the individuals in your ministry. For many, if you don’t create time on your calendar for it, it won’t happen.
    3. Make sure when you are reaching out by phone, email, text, social media messaging you don’t treat people as just another agenda item on your calendar. Take time for people. Make sure they know they are the most important thing on your calendar for the day.
  2. Online Ministry Gatherings
    1. Find ways to continue to meet online collectively as a group.
    2. For some, online ministry gatherings may be the only church gathering they will ever attend.
    3. For others, online ministry takes the pressure off of missing a week, or several weeks, due to the difficulty of gathering in person because of their disabilities.
    4. Need new material for online ministry? No worries! We have your covered. Ability Ministry has several months of video-driven curriculum designed to be used for your online groups. Some curriculum is even FREE for a limited time.

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