The New Reality of Streaming Worship and Remote Life Groups
I didn’t realize it at the time, but on Sunday, March 8, I preached to a sanctuary full of people for the last time this month, and possibly for much longer. I never imagined that seven days later we would have canceled all of our major on-site ministry gatherings, and that I would be preaching in the same auditorium with only three people in the room. What strange times we are living in!
Streaming the Worship Services
Our first attempt at streaming our service over the internet admittedly had a number of problems. Poor sound quality was the most notable difficulty, along with difficulty in finding the link and a handful of other issues. However, I am really proud of Ryan Aufenkamp and Tyler Beck who managed to pull this off with only 24 hours notice. They are both working hard so that our upcoming streaming efforts are much easier to find and will have far better sound and picture.
Please plan to tune in at 11am each Sunday morning as we worship the Lord together. We will be placing the link on the www.evergreenbible.com homepage. (Be sure to hit “refresh” so you see the changes.)
Remote Only Life Groups
Now, we have one more major change to announce: We are asking all of our Life Groups to not meet. I know we just said last weekend that it was especially important for Life Groups to continue meeting since our large group gatherings were put on hold. But now we are reversing course and asking our Life Groups to not meet in person for two primary reasons. First, we have greater understanding of how easily the virus spreads via people who do not know they have it. Second, our state and national leaders have asked us as citizens to refrain from gathering as much as possible to help contain this outbreak. Suspending in-person Life Group meetings reflects our desire to love one another well and to be good team players in this difficult task.
However, while we are asking Life Groups to refrain from meeting in person, we urge our groups to ramp up their efforts to minister to one another remotely. This week we will be providing Life Group leaders with ideas on how to use phone calls, email, social media, video chat and other means to encourage members and surface whatever needs they may be facing. This will provide opportunities to bring medicine or meals to those who are sick, to help find funds for those facing financial difficulties or to pray with members for the burdens they are carrying.
This contagion crisis has totally rearranged daily life for most Americans, and it has certainly shattered our usual paradigms for ministry. But while I certainly grieve the loss of our opportunities to meet in person, I am genuinely excited to let God show us new ways to be the church he has called us to be. Let us pursue it in faith together.