Coronavirus Church Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into a crisis that is unprecedented for many nations in the post WW2 era. For many people across the world, it will be nothing new, as they live in a state of perpetual disruption thanks to war or famine or both. It is nevertheless a significant shock to many Australians who have grown up with the comfort of living in the land of plenty. This is exactly a time for the church to step up and continue in the tradition first established by the Early Church of sacrificial service and living out the love of God in the face of crisis.

New York Times journalist Chris Bickley tweeted “Wuhan can feel a little end-of-times. Still I was surprised to come across Christian evangelists in one neighborhood cheerfully handing out leaflets and painfully flimsy masks.” along with a photo of the packages.

William Huang writing in the Mercatornet describes the contribution of various Christian groups, read here.

Moses Lee writing for The Gospel Coalition notes that “The early church was no stranger to plagues, epidemics, and mass hysteria. In fact, according to both Christian and also non-Christian accounts, one of the main catalysts for the church’s explosive growth in its early years was how Christians navigated disease, suffering, and death. The church’s posture made such a strong impression on Roman society that even pagan Roman emperors complained to pagan priests about their declining numbers, telling them to step up their game. ”

Lyman Stone writing in Foreign Policy strikes a bleak outlook “The modern world has suddenly become reacquainted with the oldest traveling companion of human history: existential dread and the fear of unavoidable, inscrutable death. No vaccine or antibiotic will save us for the time being. Because this experience has become foreign to modern people, we are, by and large, psychologically and culturally underequipped for the current coronavirus pandemic.”

He points to the testimony of bishop Dionysius who said of the Christians that  “Heedless of danger … took charge of the sick, attending to their every need”.

At this stage in Australia, the biggest emergent need is isolation, particularly of the older generation and people who are already ill and who will be at most risk of death. We are in the early stages yet of how this will play out.

One thing that we can do at this early stage is to let our local community know that we are positioned to serve. A photo proving very popular on Facebook shows a simple notice that can be placed in letterboxes of vulnerable or self-isolated people.

Neighborhood Engagement

 

Use these templates to engage with your local community and get on the frontline of critical help to people self-isolating or to vulnerable people.

Here’s an editable Word version of the above:

Covid_Help_Template

You can add a lot more information, and link your help to a church if you want. Here’s an editable Word document of the “We can help” version:

Covid_We_Can_Help_Template

Here is an editable PDF version:

Covid_We_Can_Help_Template

This is a time to step up and be a beacon of hope to your local community. A time to draw upon the hope that our faith gives us, and the love of God that compels us to share that to others around us. This is a time to give hope to those around us.

More Church Resources

This is an excellent website fronted by Rick Warren and full of very useful resources to help your church gear up for switching to a new posture of outreach to match our uncertain times – during COVID-19.

Click here to access.

This resource contains text that you can adapt for a personal message to your church neighborhood. Click here to access.

Steve Fogg is an experienced campaigner when it comes to online church, and he has put together some useful information for churches looking to go online in a hurry: click here to access.

 

 

Five Ways For The Church To Serve During The Coronavirus

Social Media & Neighborhood Ideas

  1.  Set up a local Facebook Group where local people can connect with your church and request any help (within reason). Invite people to share (via DM and not on the Group) information about people who they know who are vulnerable and need help.
  2. Offer to do shopping runs, medication runs, or other important errands for people who need to be isolated or who are vulnerable.
An example of the kind of community needs churches can take care of.

3.  Offer a number that people can call, and set up a team of people to be on duty for shifts.

4.  Set up a Call Team who can check in on vulnerable or self-isolating people. A simple call to check on welfare. At this time loneliness will have a crushing effect on many people. Invite people to DM you with their conrtact details if they would like someone to call.

5.  Post leaflets in your neighborhood outlining what ways your church is willing to help, with a range of contact options. Remember that older people don’t necessarily do online.

6.  Vistaprint are doing a special promotion with up to 50% off. You can get flyers and postcards done quickly and cheaply. Click here to access.

Digital Tools for churches during the Coronavirus

*Contributors

A collection of those involved in Church Communications who have contributed and collaborated on resources and links.

Mark Crosby, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

Benjamin Lyon, Living Rock Church

Ben Elliott, Christian Publishing Outreach

Peter Murden, Digital Church Toolkit

Finn Johnston, Digital Church Toolkit

Liz Morgan, Church of England

James Doc, Kingdom Code

A crowdsourced index of useful digital communication tools for church leaders, communications teams and church staff to refer to during the coronavirus outbreak. 

This is a working document that is being updated regularly – access it here.

Starters Guide

  • Digital Platforms for Churches During Coronavirus [Mark Crosby | article] – link
  • The Impact of the coronavirus on Church Comms [Digital Church Toolkit | video] – link
  • Free Consultation with Digital Church Toolkit to help implementation in your church [calendly form| – link
  • Alpha Online | Running Alpha During Coronavirus Outbreak [Article & Webinar] – link
  • The Ultimate Coronavirus Guide For Churches – [Church Marketing University | article] – link
  • Running Digital Small Groups [Article | Vineyard Churches] – link
  • Getting started with filming [Article and video | Vineyard Churches] – link

Prayer

Prayer is not our only response, but it should be our FIRST response.

  • A guide to praying for Coronavirus #PrayToEndCov19  [SIM] – link
  • A coronavirus prayer and other resources [Pete Greig | Article/slides] – link
  • 24/7 Prayer virtual prayer room for the coronavirus pandemic – link

Live Streaming

Guides to setting-up live streaming

  • A beginner’s guide to going live with your service or event for free [Church of England | article] – link
  • Livestream to Youtube with just a phone [7 step Tutorial]- link
  • Licences to live stream worship [Vineyard Worship | article] – link
  • The most affordable live streaming cameras for churches [ProChurchTools | Podcast]  – link
  • Recording, streaming and podcasting your services [CCLI | Article] – link
  • How to Livestream Your Church Service: A Practical Guide [Gospel Coalition | Article] – link
  • How to stream your Church service on Facebook Live – [CBN | article] – link
  • A note about live streaming and song licensing in churches – [James Doc | Article] – link
  • Songs in the public domain – [CCLI | list] – link
  • Best practices for going Live from a Facebook Page [Facebook Article] – link

Facebook Groups and Resource for Church Comms

  • Church Tech UK – [Facebook] link
  • The Church Comms Collective UK [Facebook] – link
  • CMG / Visual Church Media [Facebook] – link
    • US-based, lots of feeds about live streaming and tech setup for churches
  • Coronavirus Tech Handbook [directory] – link
  • Leveraging Facebook for Online Church During COVID-19 from Nona Jones (Head of Global Faith-Based Partnerships at Facebook) [Facebook Post] – link

Free Resources

Easily accessible resources to use in your church communications

  • Custom video for announcements [GoChatter] – link
  • Coronavirus graphics [Sunday Social] – link
  • Updates and cancellations graphics [Pixel Preacher] – link
  • Coronavirus photos [Unsplash] – link
  • Viral kindness neighbourhood print-out [PDF download] – link
  • Love our street print-out [PDF download] – link
  • Viral kindness postcard [print at home or professionally print | PDF] – link

Traci Smith has compiled an exhaustive list of ideas for churches. Click here to access.

Quick Guide to YouTube Broadcasting

Kiran Skariah – is an ordained Baptist minister in NSW and an online missionary. This video is super easy to understand and it’s excellent:

Simple Ways To Get Your Church Online

The easest software I’ve found to use to conduct meetings online is Zoom. Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to meet with others – either by video or audio-only or both. It allows participants to type ‘live chats’ (ask questions, make comments) if you only want one speaker to have their mic enabled. In small group meetings you can have all mics enabled. It also lets you record those sessions to view later.

Zoom features:

  1. One-on-one meetings: Host unlimited one-on-one meetings even with the free plan.
  2. Group video conferences: Host up to 500 participants (if you purchase the “large meeting” add-on). The free plan, however, allows you to host video conferences of up to 40 minutes and up to 100 participants.
  3. Screen sharing: Meet one-on-one or with large groups and share your screen with them so they can see what you see.

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6 Ways In Which Churches Can Deliver Interactive Online Church

How New Lock Down Measures On The Church Provide Opportunity To Pivot And Do New Things