The impacts of Covid-19 have shifted what was once normal, like attending church in person. Today, more people watch services online — and this trend is likely to continue. Now, rather than creating opportunities for more connectedness and people gathering together, we are faced with the opposite. Many people in your community feel disconnected from church, and they need your help.
Where there were in-person Bible study groups with people getting together weekly and engaging with each other personally, many of those groups have either stopped or moved to an online environment. And the online experience just isn’t the same; we can’t underestimate the value of the physical aspect of worshipping together.
To counteract these relational impacts, here are the five ways you can connect people who are disconnected in your church.
1. Create an online community for your church.
While the pandemic is hindering people’s ability to gather together, some have turned to social media platforms to feel a part of the community. Though this isn’t the same as being part of a physical community, for some people it’s helped them feel much more connected with others.
If people feel alone or want to talk about how they feel, there are often others available who feel the same way in online platforms. Having a safe online community where like-minded people gather is a valuable thing to create. Simply responding to Facebook updates, though, doesn’t allow the privacy people crave. Fortunately, Facebook does provide the option of creating private groups where people’s comments are invisible to users who aren’t part of the group. This allows for some level of privacy, similar to having a conversation in private with a group of friends.
Another helpful resource is io.church, a new social platform founded and released in 2021. It’s designed as a place for Christians to engage online. Unlike other mainstream alternatives such as Facebook and Instagram, io.church is specifically designed to create a safe space for Christian people to build community and accountability. It’s a place they can grow — virtually.
The io.church platform takes care of helping you build a network of like-minded people in a safe and secure environment so everyone can feel more a part of the church body. Creating an online community on a social media platform allows any church member to participate, young or old. It helps foster a sense of community.
2. Arrange some socially distanced visits.
Older community members’ regular church outings may have been the highlight of their week. And now that has been taken away from them. Consider arranging for other members of the congregation to make visits to these members.