Top COVID-19 Ideas for Churches (Week 3)
1. Are there resources for what to tell the congregation if someone tests positive?
David Fletcher xpastor.org: There are several considerations. Is the person a staff member or a congregant? First, I wouldn’t include any names in communication—due to patient privacy issues. If a staff member, I lean toward letting the congregation know in a gentle way. You don’t want them to be nervous, any more than they are, but they can pray, give and give support in food items. It’s not like the congregation is currently at risk. Of course, anyone who came in contact with the person, or spouse, should be alerted immediately.
2. Online service tip – As people meet in homes there are family distractions and a shorter attention span than when you meet live – so we are teaching for 20 to 25 minutes and then have an interactive Q & A time with four questions that we put out for people to discuss together
3. How do you estimate the number of people watching online?
What you are really doing is taking an educated guess. If you have more singles in your congregation, you can multiply your IP address numbers (views) by 1.5. If you have more couples who are watching together, perhaps with a child or two, you can multiply by 2 (or possibly 2.5 or more if you have lots of home school families who will watch the broadcast together). LifeChurch.TV calculates a view as: a unique IP address that is connected for at least 10 minutes X 2.6 people per screen.
4. CARES Act info – EVERY CHURCH SHOULD VIEW THIS
5. Bible Study and Small Group material – Rightnow Media is offering a free limited access membership during the COVID-19 period.
6. Simple Zoom tutorial – HOW TO USE ZOOM | Video Conferencing Tutorial for Beginners
7. For Small Groups
Zoom video conferencing is great. I think it’s the best because their Gallery View allows you to see up to 49 participants on the same screen rather than just 4-6 active people. Zoom Basic is great because it’s free and works really well. But it kicks the meeting off at 40 minutes. You can upgrade to $18 per month for no limits on time. Zoom has a non-profit pricing of $75 per year through TechSoup, but TechSoup requires organizations to be 501c3s – and many churches incorporate as religious corps so they don’t qualify.
I found a reseller of Zoom service called RingCentral that is willing to sell to non-profits for $7.50 per user per month without a contract. So I have shifted 50 small groups to RingCentral this past week and it’s working great. Below are the contacts someone could use to get the non-profit $7.50 price:
Below are two videos I made: 1) for small group leaders setting up to host, and 2) for small group members setting up to participate.
Small Group Leader Setup Instructions – video of instructions to help you set up your RingCentral account so that you can host meetings using it.
For your small group members – feel free to forward this to them.
Draft email is below:
This week we will meet together digitally. It’s not quite the same as meeting in person, but I think it will work well considering our circumstances! I would suggest that you set up the RingCentral app ahead of time and test it. If you would like to have a test call with me, just let me know. I suggest using a laptop or desktop if you have one with a camera and microphone. If you don’t, you can also use your iPhone or Android phone.
Here’s a short video walking you through the setup and use of RingCentral for the first time: http://www.villagebible.church/smallgroup To connect, you will click on this link: [YOUR RINGCENTRAL LINK] (see the leader instruction video for details). The first time you do that, you will be asked to install the app. Once that’s done, come back to this email and click on the link again. Next, you will be asked if you want to connect using your computer’s audio. You want to answer “Yes” to that question.
8. How do we balance the Giving Conversation (church need vs current reality) with our church?
Great words to help you script your communication
9. Create open virtual gatherings (using Zoom) to host prayer and conversation. Use Zoom breakout rooms to connect people.
10. Collect older computers, phones and tablet devices for those who don’t have a way to connect online. Prep them for use, include instructions and a tech person to call to help them get online.
11. Easter Idea – Start video recordings of conversion stories and post them as part of your Easter plans. Show in the days before and as part of the service.
12. Micro church podcast – https://exponential.org/microchurches-positioned-pandemic/
13. Good Neighbor Bingo: (Be creative and modify it for your church!)