I want to break from my normal approach to this blog to offer some practical helps and links while we’re in this upside-down world of COVID-19. We are living in unprecedented days. We’re all learning to think in new and creative ways about how to just go through the day!
The church is no exception. Daily we are discovering new ways to work together and continue worship, ministry, discipleship, and fellowship.
God’s Word is still applicable…
- “And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).
- “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them” (Matt. 18:20).
… but we are discovering new ways to gather together. But let me assure you: the ministry of the church has not stopped! Nor do we need to consider is less effective. God is still on His throne, and we just need to adapt to serving Him in ways we might not have thought of before.
As a Bible study leader and producer of Bible study curriculum, the biggest question I’m hearing has to do with how to do Bible study. I’m going to turn this over to my good friend, Ken Braddy. He has graciously given me permission to share the following, which comes from his Sunday School blog, kenbraddy.com.
If you want to stay connected to your Bible study group, you have some simple options that will be quite effective. In no particular order, here are some ways for group leaders to teach remotely while their church isn’t meeting.
- FaceBook Live – My church is using FaceBook Live to broadcast the worship service. The only people in attendance at the church are the pastor and small worship team. I sit at home and participate via my iPhone. If you have FaceBook on your laptop or phone, you’ll see an option to go “Live.” My church does this using an iPad, and it works like a charm. There is no reason that a group leader could not teach his or her class live via a computer, phone, or iPad device. It can be broadcast to their FaceBook feed, or to a FaceBook group they create (all the people in their group could sign up). There are plenty of handy “how to” videos on YouTube that can get you up and running quickly if you aren’t familiar with FaceBook Live. Click here for a list of tips for using FaceBook Live.
- Zoom – Zoom is a popular video conferencing platform used by many businesses today, including my own (LifeWay). A free version is available (click here to go get it) and it allows up to 100 people to be in a video conference. If you want, there are versions that cost, and you get additional features and more seats. People can interact, speak, type questions in the chat feature, and the session can even be recorded by the host.
- E-Mail – Don’t laugh. This is a super-easy way for group leaders to engage their group members. Maybe the easiest. How would this work? Glad you asked.
A group leader would send his or her group an e-mail at the beginning of the week. The teacher would remind the group to read and study their Personal Study Guide lesson (oh, I’m assuming that your church provides Bible study materials such as Explore the Bible, Gospel Project, Bible Studies for Life), or some inferior version from another Christian publisher besides LifeWay. 🙂
During the week, a group leader would send several emails to the group members. A question or two would direct them to a particular quote or question in the curriculum. The teacher would encourage the group members to “reply all” and carry on conversations throughout the week until the lesson had been covered.
YouTube videos abound with suggestions on how to use these different programs to engage with your people.
But wait! There’s more! Here’s a few more highly practical ideas.
- Using Zoom to teach your group online during COVID-19
- 3 Ways Group Leaders can Make a Difference during the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Ken Braddy models one way to do a virtual Bible study: Need a virtual Bible study this weekend?
- Seeing Around Corners: 5 Ways COVID-19 is going to change Sunday School
- Shepherding Your Group During COVID-19
I’m thankful for the privilege of being part of the ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources. We have all pooled together to provide a variety of help—from kids ministry to giving to training videos—to assist the church in her ministry. Coronavirus Resources for You and Your Church is an excellent site for any and all church leaders.
I’m treating my own ministry as an adventure in these days! I’ve been preaching to my iPad … I’ve made more phone calls than normal … I’ve hosted online meetings. But I have no use for digital doughnuts.
Leave a comment and share with the rest of us how your serving in this era of “social distancing.”
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