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April 15, 2020

Tips for Church Planting Amidst the COVID-19 Reality

By New Churches Team

Sunday Morning Services

Chris Highfill is a church planter in St. Louis, Missouri. When his local government requested no gatherings over 50 people, his church immediately made the decision to move to online services only. Highfill recommends posting the service as many places online as possible so that if one option goes down, there are still other viewing options available. This may include Facebook live, Youtube, Vimeo, embedding on the church website, and more. Highfill also mentions that his church is opting for only one worship song before the sermon then following the sermon he is available on Facebook for a live Q&A to discuss the sermon and questions that arise.

Lee Stephenson, a church planter in Orlando, Florida, notes that they made the decision to move to online services based on other businesses in their community. Notably, Disney World opted to close their doors before the local government required it, and Stephenson’s church followed suit. Their service is running about 45 minutes long with a personal welcome, prayer, two worship songs, a message, and a benediction. Stephenson’s church has opted to continue following the sermon series they had planned, tying in to current circumstances when appropriate, in an attempt to keep things as normal as possible.

Generosity

Both Highfill and Stephenson have seen an increase in online giving in recent weeks. Highfill notes that their church was in a financially secure place, so they made it clear that they are asking for offerings to use in a benevolence fund to help others in the community. Stephenson shares that his church has adopted a language of, “If you have needs let us know, if you have means help us out.” This is spreading a clear message to the community that the church isn’t asking something of people who are in a tough place financially. This has really helped mobilize the church.

Midweek Discipleship and Pastoral Care

Stephenson shares that although the ability to meet with people individually has greatly diminished, the needs of the people for pastoral care has increased exponentially. He has had success in creating some new experiences for his church that allow for midweek discipleship opportunities and pastoral care.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.

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