Posted: 3/20/20 at 5:00pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (II Timothy 1:7 NIV)
All of us are scrambling right now to keep our members and the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. By now the Congregational Field Staff and others of the BGAV have sent our churches several ideas for worship, giving, and more. How do we help Sunday School classes and small groups? Here are some ideas:
Pray. As teachers and small group leaders, you should be praying for every person in your group and let them know. Ask for prayer requests.
Call or text. Please call or text every member once a week to check on them. You may find out about needs: a member or family member has the virus, a person has been laid off work, or there is some other need. Let the church staff know (with permission) along with group members. Find ways to help.
Use technology to meet. There are several options available:
- Conference call: There is a free link below to set up conference calls for a class or small group. Someone will need to get on the computer to set it up and make sure persons have the phone number and password to call in along with the date and time. This works well for classes/small groups that do not have WiFi in their homes. Here is the link: https://www.freeconferencecall.com/
- Zoom: It is easy to set up a Zoom meeting if everyone has WiFi or unlimited data on their cell phone. It is free to host a meeting for 40 minutes. If you have a larger group than 10, you may have to pay for an account.
- Use options you have! Some of you may have Google hangout or other options to help. You could do Facebook live with the teacher sharing (if everyone is on Facebook). You could also set up a closed Facebook page for the class/small group and share thoughts about the lesson or prayer requests throughout the week.
- Record lessons and have an outline: I am trying to cover all bases as best possible. If you have a class that can’t do any of the above, teachers, you can seek to record your lesson/lecture, make copies through the church and have copies at a location at church for members to pick it up. I have a pastor with very little WiFi in the community who is recording his sermons ahead of time and copying to CDs and copying his manuscript. Members can come by and pick them up.
Preschool and children’s teachers: Do you have the capability to send parents lesson plans and craft ideas so parents can lead a lesson?
This is a new day for now. How are teachers and small group leaders connecting to members during this time? Let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. God does not give us the spirit of fear. Even in the toughest times, God gives us power, love, and self discipline. This may seem bad now but may open new possibilities to share in the future!