Since COVID-19 caused restrictions on in-person gatherings, our church has been forced to invest and experiment more and more with online worship. Over time, we have discovered that we have more people gathering with us for worship online than we had attending our regular Sunday morning services before this pandemic started. It challenged us to ask: Who are these people joining us online?
I have heard it said: “If you want to reach people who have never been reached before then you have to try things that have never been tried before.”
With a desire to connect in a meaningful way with our new online viewers, we were willing to try something new. So, we launched our "Next Steps" campaign at our church.
First, I worked with five people from our church to train and encourage them to be spiritual mentors. These are men and women who are willing to come alongside someone who is curious about “the Jesus way of life” and be a friend to them. Because of the coronavirus restrictions, we planned to build friendships with curious seekers by email, phone, or video call.
Next, we launched a "Next Steps" email address and I recorded a short two-minute video that we show regularly on Sunday mornings. The video invites people who are curious about Jesus and faith to email us. The exciting news is that since we have launched the short video and email address, we have had two people (both policemen) connect with us for ongoing conversations about Jesus, faith, and life!
I guess what we are learning as a church is to try things that have never been tried before. As an added bonus, we now have five people trained as spiritual mentors!
Pastor Mike Collins, Mountainview CRC Grimsby