Church without Walls | 6 Ways To Encourage Your Congregation
Going on a vacation and taking a break from the normal routine shouldn’t mean neglecting your spiritual walk, or disconnecting from the body of Christ. Staying connected to the church community, even when we are not able to be physically present, is vital for our spiritual growth and overall well-being. However, that also goes for the weeks and weekends out of town on vacation, on work trips, or any other reason that keeps you from being with the church body. So how can you encourage your church body to continue prioritizing their faith and gathering as a body while they’re away?
Let’s explore some different ways you could “do church” when away from the building and provide practical tips for staying connected to our faith and the church community when we’re not physically present.
1. PROVIDE ONLINE BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES
Organize online Bible study groups or provide pre-recorded Bible study sessions that members can join or access while away from home. This allows them to continue their study of scripture and engage in meaningful discussions with others and use discussion forums such as GroupMe or a Facebook page as an avenue for questions, discussion, and engagement with participants.
2. HELP THEM FIND A CHURCH
Helping your people find a solid church to attend where they’re going is another good option. Some people may think otherwise, but there is something special about being in fellowship with believers you might not otherwise meet and see how the Lord is working around the country and the world.
TGC has a church directory on its website that can search for churches to attend near you, which could shave off some time from doing your own Google search.
3. ENCOURAGE FAMILY WORSHIP
Another way to encourage your members to keep doing church together while on vacation is by giving them the resources! With kids, it can be a more difficult task to keep everyone's attention, but Seeds Family Worship has fun and easy family devotionals that you could point them to. These devotionals include the scripture they’ll go over, a song, a video, and hand motions!
In addition to that, we also have Seeds Family Worship media on Igniter as well as a lot of other kids' content to choose from!
4. DIVERSIFY YOUR DISTRIBUTION
If you're solely streaming your church services on Facebook, you may be missing a significant portion of your congregation who prefer other platforms. While Facebook is popular, diversifying your church live stream across multiple platforms can significantly expand your reach and engagement. Additionally, it’s important to not only stream live but also upload your recorded sermons to your website, YouTube channel, app, or any platform where your members can access the whole sermon later if they are unable to watch live.
Lastly, you could also consider creating a podcast from your church services, this would be especially useful for those on the go or traveling. It allows members to listen to sermons while commuting or in situations where watching a video isn't feasible. If you're unsure about how to start a podcast, here’s a helpful article to guide you through the process.
5. CREATE SHORT-FORM CONTENT
In addition, to live streaming and providing recorded sermons, it's crucial to reinforce and reiterate the message of your sermon throughout the week. In today's digital age, there are numerous avenues to connect with your congregation and reinforce the sermon's content through easily digestible, bite-sized content. This approach ensures that your message remains fresh in their minds and encourages ongoing engagement and reflection. This could include:
Writing and distributing blog posts that include the key takeaways and applications.
Creating short-form videos that highlight the key points from the sermon.
Create a carousel post that recaps the main topics or asks reflection questions in a series of 3 or 4 slides.
We dive deeper into all of these ideas in this blog, How to Create Content from Sunday to Sunday.
6. REEVALUATE YOUR ONLINE OPTIONS
During seasons when many people are going out of town, it may be worth reevaluating how you’re doing your online services and if you’re offering the best experience for those who want to watch from home or while on vacation as a family. Are you providing lower-third graphics and captions? Are you using a countdown? Displaying your announcement slides and graphics? Is your audio quality up to par? These are all questions worth asking. If you need some insight on where to get started, we have a few articles you can check out:
CHURCH WITHOUT WALLS
At the end of the day, the church is without walls. It’s more than going to a building every Sunday, and it’s not something we just check off our to-do list for the week. It’s fellowship with other believers and a time to worship the Lord together as a body and stir one another in our faith. As Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
At Igniter we also want to help the church communicate the meaning of what it means to gather and the purpose of the church. If this is something you want to walk your congregation through, we have a ton of sermon series and collections designed around this topic.
Below are a few to start with, but you can find them all on Igniter Media.
If you like what you see, and you’re not a member yet, sign up for a 30-day free trial and try it out for free. As always, we do media so you can do ministry.