Stay Connected—Alternate Ways to Host a Church Service 

During this time of quarantine, limited travel, and sheltering in, people are craving to feel connected. This is an opportunity to find creative ways to reach not only your congregation, but people within the community searching for the Word. Here are 9 ideas you can use as a starting point. Be sure to personalize them to fit your ministry’s uniqueness.  

  1. Be human. Don’t try to do everything. Pick a few ways to communicate and do them to the best of your ability. Your worshippers will forgive less-than-perfect lighting or technical flubs.

  2. Create an in-home service. Give your worshippers the tools to lead a service for their family. Offer a structured program that contains music suggestions and scripture readings. Pastors can record sermons and post them on the ministry’s website for worshipers to follow. This method can work for a Sunday School, too.

  3. Offer daily encouragement. Especially during Easter week, consider posting short videos on your website from staff to encourage and engage your people. 

  4. Go live. Live streaming, like Facebook Live, can be done simply with no extra equipment. This can give an intimate feel to a pastor-led Bible study, a daily sermon, or volunteers reading to children.  

  5. Alter the definition of “service.” Consider good works as an alternative to your weekly service, like “call on an elderly or disabled neighbor.” It can even be as simple as leaving a few rolls of toilet paper and canned goods outside the door for a homebound person. 

  6. Try new technology. Staying connected with online platforms, like Subsplash, can help with sermon delivery, push notifications, online giving, and more. 

  7. Rev up a drive-in service. A drive-in worship service works like a drive-in movie theater, allowing services to be held while still respecting social distancing. Attendees park in your parking lot or a grassy area and stay in their vehicles and tune in to a live service broadcast via a local radio station, through a local FM transmitter, or through live streaming. This article, “Safely Host a Drive-in Worship Service,” offers tips and safe practices. 

  8. Go old-school. You may have attendees who aren’t tech-savvy. Old-fashioned phone trees allow you to reach out, one-to-one. Volunteers can chat and pray with attendees who may not be able to access other types of electronic platforms. Just simply asking, “how are you” can bring light and joy during this time when many feel isolated. 

  9. Organize small groups instead of a formal worship service. Small groups can utilize video conferencing platforms for meaningful discussions.  

Pay attention to local and state mandates about in-person gatherings. Remember, these guidelines are put in place to keep all souls safe by reducing virus spread. Caring for the most vulnerable and each other is an act of love.  

You can read more about COVID-19 prevention and planning and other coronavirus-related resources from Brotherhood Mutual.