Re-Connect (formerly known as home service) is going to look a lot different during the coronavirus pandemic.
Resonate missionaries periodically leave the field and spend a few months in North America to connect with supporting churches. But because of COVID-19, many Resonate missionaries aren’t able to visit churches in Canada and the United States as planned.
That doesn’t mean, however, that your church can’t connect with your missionary during the pandemic. Your ministry together is a partnership, and it’s important to stay informed. Thanks to technology, it’s possible to hear updates from the field. In fact, missionaries might be able to connect with your church in new ways.
Here are some ideas and tips to conduct Re-Connect online.
Ideas to Connect with Your Missionary Virtually
Invite your missionary to participate in your online worship gathering.
Even across an ocean, your missionary can join your church for worship online. Give them an opportunity to share about your ministry together—or even preach! Many missionaries have been to seminary and are ordained. Invite them to use their preaching skills.
Host an online Q&A.
Invite your church to join your missionary for a Q&A through video call. It’s a great opportunity to ask specific questions about your ministry partnership. Have a list of questions ready to go beforehand—but also give your church members an opportunity to respond and ask their own questions during the Q&A session.
Have tea time online.
Invite missionaries to gather with small groups from your church through video call. It’s a great opportunity for people to grab a cup of tea or coffee and get to know one another—and your ministry together—better.
Host a virtual workshop.
Missionaries have a lot of experience in mission! Gather your mission committee or a group of people from your church who are interested in mission and invite your missionary to host a virtual workshop. They can share what they’ve learned through their ministry and give you advice or guidance about joining God on mission in your own neighborhood.
Invite your missionary to prayer gatherings.
Hosting a prayer gathering online with your church? Invite missionaries to join. Ask them for any prayer requests they have, both personally and for your ministry together in the field.
Tips for Connecting with Missionaries Online during Re-Connect
Be conscious of timezones.
Where does your missionary live? Make sure you’re not inviting them to a gathering in the middle of the night or super early in the morning. Find a time that works for both of you.
Make sure the technology is working.
Set up a trial run to make sure that your technology is working. Also know that the internet can be unstable in some parts of the world.
Many Resonate missionaries have engaging videos about their ministry. Ask if your missionary wants to share a video during a presentation or online gathering. Test-run it ahead of time to make sure the sound and visuals are both working.
Be conscious of security concerns.
Some missionaries serve in countries where it’s dangerous to share the gospel. Check with your missionary to make sure it’s okay to share about their ministry online. Some missionaries aren’t going to be able to share about their ministry on a service that is being livestreamed—but they might be able to share about their ministry in more secure, small group discussions through video call. Here’s a guideline to help you.
Take a special offering online.
Many churches take a special offering for missionaries when they’re visiting in person. Ministry doesn’t stop during a pandemic, and missionaries still need your financial support. They might even have special projects to help share the love of Christ during COVID-19. Your church can give online. Most Resonate missionaries have a dedicated page on Resonate’s website where people can donate. Some missionaries, however, live in countries where there are security concerns and can’t be listed publicly online. Ask them for the best way to give.
While a virtual meeting doesn’t replace a face-to-face meeting, it can help keep you connected until your missionary is able to visit your church again in person.
What is your church doing to stay connected to missionaries during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know in the comments!