Scott Bird shared further info on the financial assistance being made available from the federal government (please see Friday’s Baptist Press release, http://www.bpnews.net/54550/qa-how-churches-pastors-are-eligible-for-relief-in-stimulus-package) : from The webinar I participated in was hosted by Heritage Family Offices, a tax and law firm out of New York. To summarize,
1) Paycheck Protection Program
Funds must be applied for through a small business administration approved bank. US Bank is probably one of the largest lenders in this program.
Funds are limited and available on a first come first served basis.
Funds are 100% forgivable when spent in within the 8 weeks following the loan origination date.
Funds are 100% forgivable when spent on payroll, rent, and utilities.
2) Economic Injury Disaster Loan
An immediate advance of up to $10K within 7 within 72 hours. Maximum loan value in total can be up to $2 million.
Applications are handled directly through the Small Business Administration
Southwestern Seminary (our SBC school at Ft. Worth) shared these resources today for worship (PDF, mp3’s, etc) and for preaching:
As we move our worship services online, this has presented challenges for all of us. Rod has asked me to share a couple of things we are doing at Calvary, but be sure we are all in the same boat.
We all need to consider a few questions as we navigate into online worship:
1. Livestream or Pre-Record
- Livestream gives the advantage of keeping your worship at the same time and all coming together. However, you are at the mercy of technology. If something goes wrong, you need a backup plan.
- Pre-Recording allows you to preview what you are putting out and it gives you time to work through any issues before it is made available. You can check your lighting and audio quality. You are also giving your people and guests the opportunity to participate on their schedule and in a way that best fits their needs.
We have selected pre-recording because we are recording separate parts of the worship experience (i.e. music, message, prayer) and then editing them together into one video.
2. Platform for Online Video
- Where you Livestream or put your videos for viewing has many options. Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/solutions/facebook-live) is probably the simplest because you can open up the Facebook App on your mobile device and click the "Live" button in the upper left.
Since we are pre-recording, we are posting our video on YouTube. Then we are embedding the YouTube video into our website and posting on Social Media (Facebook for now & Instagram to come) links to our website. We are trying to drive everything to our website because we are adding more info to our website regularly, but keeping the content on other platforms in case our website has issues.
3. Tools for Video
- If you are Livestreaming, you can do this from a mobile device, but if you are having sound issues, you might want to add something like the iq6 (https://www.amazon.com/Zoom-iQ6-iOS-Lightning-Microphone/dp/B00MZCEY9O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1547236013&sr=8-2&keywords=iq6). This is ONLY for Apple devices. This is what we are using.
- I would encourage the investment in a tripod and device mount. We already had a tripod and purchased a mount for $10 to hold an iPad (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y4FF1OM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) This helps to make sure you don't have the shaking from a person trying to hold the camera.
- For pre-recording, we invested in the Mevo Plus (https://mevo.com/mevo-plus/). This camera will allow you to Livestream if you choose too.
- After recording, we are using Camtasia 2019 to edit the video by adding transitions between the recorded parts (i.e. welcome, music, message), adding verses and notes for the message, and including any other necessary graphics such as announcements. You can publish directly to your YouTube account from Camtasia.
There are many more tools and ways to share your worship online. I would just encourage you to be authentic and not staged in what you are doing. We are being intentional not to say "good morning" because ours is pre-recorded and they may be watching at another time.
The equipment and/or tools you choose to invest in should be invested in if they are tools you will continue to use. Once we are back in face-to-face worship, why should we stop with online? So invest in tools that will help you to keep moving the ministry forward.
Whatever you choose, remember this is our front door, so choose what best meets your community and your audience. Don't try to recreate everything you did in a Sunday service. Church will never be the same and that is NOT a bad thing. God is going to use this opportunity to bring people to Himself and to revitalize the church in ways we never imagined.
We're also connecting with those who don't have online access by providing CDs or DVDs (depending on what they need). Our deacons are helping with this delivery, but making sure we maintain social distance or mail them when necessary.
We are doing our best to connect with our congregation and guests. If I can help in any other ways, please let me know.
God is good!
Pastor David Dean
Calvary Baptist Church
A lot of you are way ahead of these ideas already on how to keep your congregation cared for and connected, but if one or two of these can be helpful:
A Care Caller’s ministry: this is simply asking a few dedicated members in the church (probably women more so than men will fit this need) to call on the members. Break it down by 7-10 per person (not more than this) to call regularly on members (you and your team of callers determine how often), and share the following: (1) first share “I am praying for you and your family” (2) ask how they are doing? (3) after response and as appropriate, ask “Is there anything you would like our pastor and leaders to know (they may have already shared this in (2) but if not, ask this to find out how to be able to care and encourage them better, and (4) ask if there is something they would like to be helping the church to do?
Pray, plan, and organize your members into “Growth Groups” of 3—this can be done at adult level and at youth/middle school level. This is to ask these three to meet weekly over Zoom* or through free conference calling* and to do three things: build one another and send one another out to live—see attached for simple idea of this
Create virtual small groupings using Zoom or another platform: ask and help your SS teachers to set this up, or ask your deacons or other appropriate leader persons to contact and invite members (you work out with them the list of people for their groups so that you know everyone is covered). They can meet 30-40” virtually for sharing the Word, praying together, and checking one another, and encouraging each to be sensitive the Spirit in how they can be serving lost neighbors and friends—and through this to invite these into the group.
The last five verses of Proverbs 27 tell us we cannot assume our people are OK—we must check on and manage/lead “the farm” and help the sheep to be healthy and productive. People are changed and helped most in groups more than the pulpit. The pulpit is to set the atmosphere for the groups’ work. Jesus did His primary work through His group work with the 12; yes, He preached, did evangelism and missions and ministry work—but He did His most important work through the group He invested in. It’s our most important work too. If we can encourage, equip, and engage members to lead other members into a closer walk with Jesus and be more on mission with Him, our church will be cared for and connected.
(*see below for these resources)
The guys from our other associations met yesterday and shared some ideas of responding to this virus:
Make sure your lighting and microphones are good for streaming the service
Experiment with a digital response card/connection card
www.nextdoor.com is a tool for checking on neighbors and could be a means of inviting people into virtual small groups your church is putting together (I will send out more thoughts tomorrow)
While streaming the church service, make giving a part of it: at this part of the service explain to the people how they can give their tithes and offerings during this “online” season (if they can do online or direct drafts from bank or drop off at church office or mail...)
Prominently place on your church website how your church is meeting together, how small groups are being conducted, how people in need can be responded to by the church
Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 email recipients to get information/news out through email
www.freeconferencecall.com allows you to set up free conference calling: can be used for small groups or for church at large
www.zoom.us allows free virtual video meetings for small groups or for up to meetings of 100 with a 40” time limitation; you can pay an annual subscription fee for $150 per year which gives unlimited time and size of group usage (To use Zoom just establish a free account with this program: go onto their home page at www.zoom.us and go to account set up and establish a user name and password. Whenever you set up to meet, a few minutes prior send our meeting # via email or/and through text. They simply go to www.zoom.us and to hit “Join a Meeting” and put in the meeting # sent, and everyone is able to join together—being able to see and talk with one another throughout the meeting time)
Thanks sincerely for giving leadership to your churches!!
This week’s YouTube gives some considerations on doing church in new ways in these “new” times:
This was what Scott Bird from Anchor Bible shared on 3.18:
I don’t like it and I don’t want to but for this week and the next we are asking people to stay home. We are broadcasting our worship service. So our plan looks like this
2-4 weeks family based home worship
4-6 weeks small group based worship
6-10 weeks the ability to gather as a church again.
Because of our home group ministry this will be a disruption but minimal in scope and duration.
Dale Pederson from FBC Escalon shared this on 3.20:
This is still evolving, but at present there are a few things we're trying to do to help us all stay connected and able to support each other.
1) At 10:30 Sunday mornings we'll be able to join with one another over the computer or the telephone for a remote church service. Details on how this can happen are below. Sundays the meeting will be about an hour. We'll connect with each other for prayer requests, read Scripture, testimonies and personal updates, and a sermon. You can join the Sunday morning remote service on computer or smart phone at https://zoom.us/j/682295635. If you have a web cam (optional), we'll be able to see each other. Or you can join by phone by dialing 253 215 8782 (or 301-715-8592). When prompted, enter the meeting ID: 682 295 635. Feel free to invite others to join. It's open to all.
2) Each weekday, Monday - Friday, also at 10:30 am, and also over the computer or the telephone, we'll offer "Morning Connect" - roughly 30 minutes for a devotional thought, checking in on each other, sharing prayer requests and updates, and praying for each other. If after a week or so we feel we do not need this daily "Morning Connect", we can cut back to 2 or 3 days a week. These weekday "morning connect" meetings will most likely be no longer than 30 minutes. You can join any of these daily morning connect meetings the same way as you do on Sunday. See #1 above for those details. Many people in these days are going to feel a need for connection. This could be a great event to invite family, friends, and others to participate in. How's that for "redeeming the time"?
3) Each week you'll receive via email, US mail, or both (whatever you prefer), a letter from me with updates, devotional reflections, and information to keep us connected.
4) Also, each week I'll give you a call to see how you're doing and how we can be helpful to you.
5) We want to keep each other informed of needs so we can minister to one another. If you have a need, we need you to share it. If you are willing and able to help with things like making grocery or pharmacy runs for others who should not leave their homes, make sure we all are aware.
6) Tara and I are also wondering about a short term (as short or long as this mass quarantine lasts) reading club. We'd recommend a book, and for those who participate we could have it at your doorstep in 2 days. Then we could connect the same way as "morning connect" once a week to discuss what we've read - perhaps a chapter a week? Just a thought.
You may have additional ideas for how we can redeem the time and make these days of quarantine a time of personal and communal renewal and spiritual advance.
Don Hutchins from Baptist Temple shared on 3.21:
We will be starting at 10:45 and will have live from the church services stream on our facebook page. It is a closed group, however, if anyone wants to join we will be glad to have them join us. It is Baptist Temple Modesto. There will be music and a sermon just as if we are together.
Randy Vance, FBC Denair: Is looking to send out daily YouTube devotionals