A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how our church was coping with the pandemic and its effects on our church. I thought I would give you an update and invite our readers to share their experiences, also.
We have now presented our Sunday morning worship online for four Sundays. We’ve posted our worship videos on Facebook and Utube, and we’ve also posted them on our church’s website. Our viewing audience has increased each week. It hard to determine exactly how many people watch the whole service, but we estimate that 685 people watched on Easter Sunday. We’re confident that many more people are worshiping with us online than did in person. Before the pandemic, we did not broadcast anything online. We only posted an audio recording of last week’s sermon on the website. The government restrictions forced us online, but we have decided to continue with online services when we resume public worship.
On Thursday night of Easter week, we observed the Lord’s Supper online. We purchased Lord’s Supper kits (little plastic containers with wafer and juice), and the deacons distributed them to our members. They delivered 700 kits, and we know that some folks joined in communion, even though they did not have a kit. So, we know more than 700 participated in the Lord’s Supper, a record high for our church.
The first Sunday we worshiped online our offering receipts were about $9,600, about half of our weekly budget requirement. That really concerned me; however, the next two Sundays we received more than $30,000 each week. For Easter week our faithful members gave more than $28,000. So, I can say that our folks have done well, and our budget won’t suffer. In fact, our giving is up.
Our deacons have come through like champs during this crisis. The deacons called all our church members to check on their welfare, and they also delivered the Lord’s Supper kits.
We have learned a lot about posting video worship services. The first video was rushed, and it was not the best quality. However, the quality of the videos has improved week by week. We post the video on both Facebook and Utube. At least on my computer, the quality of the picture is better on Utube. I heard that some churches had problems with Facebook—buffering or complete stoppage. We have not had any problems. Our auditorium has been changed into a recording studio. It still gives me pause when I go in there. We just purchased a draped backdrop, and we plan to purchase better cameras.
We’ve begun teaching Sunday school classes, using ZOOM. This has gone fine, and lots of folks are participating in the classes.
We’ve also been sending out daily emails. We call them Encouraging Words. I write those. Our senior pastor has been recording his sermons, but he hates preaching to the camera. Personally, I praise the Lord that we’re reaching so many people via internet worship, but I sure miss worshiping in person. There is nothing like raising one’s voice in praise along with God’s people. Then, too, I miss the personal contact with our folks.
Well, that’s the update from Central Baptist Church in Crandall, Texas. How are you all doing?