The coronavirus pandemic has affected millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, over 200,000 people have died because of COVID-19, with many more deaths around the globe. As a result, small and mid-sized businesses across the country are struggling to survive, even as bigger companies continue to profit during the pandemic, bolstering the stock market and creating a false sense of security for those who view the market fluctuations as the sole arbiter of economic prosperity.
Live entertainment and social gatherings have been especially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with churches struggling to balance safety concerns with a deep desire for spiritual connection during such uncertain times. If you’re interested in rebuilding your women’s ministry during the pandemic, here are a few tips and strategies to keep in mind.
1. Keep things safe.
First thing’s first: in order to rebuild your congregation, you need to assure your congregants that it’s a safe place to frequent. Recent studies about the coronavirus disease have illustrated that larger, indoor gatherings and poor airflow can create a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19. If you’re going to try to rebuild your congregation, the best thing to do is to switch to online services rather than trying to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing within your building. Once a case of COVID-19 is linked to your ministry, your church will be basically done for, so it’s much better to play it safe and protect everyone. Another option is to find an outdoor space to hold gatherings in, but in that case make sure you have long-sleeve clergy blouses because it can get chilly, especially in the evenings.
2. Offer clear, transparent communication with your congregation.
As you’re transitioning to online services, it’s important to keep in touch with your congregation. Communication is key to any ministry and, with so many parts of our lives moving online, it can be nice to get regular updates from a friendly face like a minister. Simple video messages sent out on a weekly basis can be a powerful way to let your ministry know how things are going and when you plan to gather in close contact again.
3. Invest in simple tech.
Older adults aren’t always the best with technology, which is why it’s important that the tech you use for running services online is simple and effective. While many people use Zoom or Ring Central, it has a very corporate feel and can be just as exhausting as a video conference call at work. Rather than remind your ministry of work, invest in a platform like Streamyard, which offers an elegant, cost-effective solution for streaming live video. Best of all, no software is needed to be downloaded by you or your ministry in order to access a stream. You can even stream your video service to multiple locations at the same time, including YouTube and Facebook Live.
4. Keep costs low.
COVID-19 has had an economic impact in addition to it’s more obvious health impact, which is why it’s important to make prudent business decisions while you’re working to rebuild your ministry. For example, Streamyard is an incredibly inexpensive platform, which means that you aren’t spending hundreds of dollars a month on a service you may not need in the future. Getting good deals on other church supplies, such as women’s clergy shirts, is also a good idea. You may even want to replace your Bibles for when it’s safe to gather in person again. As you’re shopping around, keep price and function in mind, as it may make sense to get some other divinity clergy wear that’s better suited for on-camera services, too. You can even consider getting a face mask especially made for services, to set an example for your congregation and encourage them to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. Whatever supplies you’re buying, make sure you’re getting durable garments or Bibles and that you’re getting a good deal. It’s wise to save during times of financial uncertainty.
5. Be a source of positivity.
The year 2020 has made so many people feel hopeless for numerous reasons. One thing that faith and religion can offer people is a sense of hope and purpose. If your ministry can serve as a beacon of positivity in these uncertain times, you’ll surely retain and even grow your women’s ministry.