Churches overcoming quarantine – Q&A with Michael Britt
TFN: What went through your head when you heard that the quarantine was going into effect and that you would have to suspend in-person church services?
Michael: “The first thing I thought to myself was ‘This stinks. How are we going to care for our church family? Our kids? Easter service? What is this going to look like for the weeks to come? How can we abide by the law and serve our community?’”
TFN: How did you arrive at your current online church format?
Michael: “Thankfully we had our service streaming prior to the quarantine, which is a total God thing. Last year we had 7 babies that were born, and we needed a nursing mothers’ room with a stream of the service. When that happened, we also did online streaming. So glad! We currently are pre-recording our worship team from a home in town and playing it back on Sunday morning. Pastor Don then preaches live from our sanctuary to the online audience. It seems to be working really well for us.”
TFN: What are you doing throughout the week to help keep your congregation close and cared for?
Michael: “We have a pastoral care team that reaches out to the congregation on a regular basis. We made Easter bags (filled with eggs, candy, and a scripture egg hunt!) for our kids. We have weekly Zoom calls for our adults and youth, and we stream our Sunday service on YouTube and Facebook Live. The more touchpoints we use, the more opportunities there are to minister.
TFN: If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?
Michael: I wish that we had figured out earlier that Zoom doesn’t work for everyone, especially the elderly. Now, we are starting to call people on their phones so they can listen in without a computer. It’s a challenge to hit every demographic of the church at once!
I also wish we had a better plan in place for our kids’ ministry. But that is coming together with time.