In the coming weeks we will be posting videos and thoughts about how to prepare for mission now and when churches are again allowed to meet.
In this time of church services and ministries being suspended, how do we use this time to reach out and prepare for mission.
Over this time the traditional forms of outreach and ministries are not able to go ahead but there are some different ways in which you can engage with your local community.
Send a Card to those in your street: write a small card to those in your street saying who you are and that you are praying for them. Include in there your number / email address or the minister's number/ email (if they give their constant) saying you are there for them to chat. This seems simple but in a time of uncertainty we can offer people time over the phone.
With the new Government Guidance on Essential Travel make sure you post this cards through the postbox when you're out for your hour of daily exercise.
Join your community FaceBook Page: most communities have a Facebook page, join this and listen to see what people's issues are.
Thank You: send a card of thanks to the local school, police station, hospital, supermarket and local shop staff, care homes, etc - let them know you appreciate all that they are doing and if they have any requests to let you know.
Use Social Media: you can tweet local companies, school etc - let them know you are praying for them and if they have any requests.
Communicate in the Right Way: at this time it is tempting to jump in with answers from the Bible, but sometimes when people question, it communicates more to them if you listen and 'sit' with them in their listening rather than rushing in with answers (sometimes giving answers straight away can appear dismissive of people's questioning and pain.)
Pray: one thing that is common in all revivals, out-pouring of the Holy Spirit and Church growth is prayer. Prayer Meetings are the least attended meetings in our church life but while we are Staying at Home use this opportunity to seek God; pray that his Spirit will move in this land; ask Him to show you how to reach out and respond during this time.
We experience God move when we pray.
Plan: think about how the church will be when we are allowed to physically meet again. Much focus will be on that first 'service' but I would urge you to think about gathering together to pray and share what God has been saying to you all.
Also you can hold some events for the community not just to put stuff on but to listen, you could:
Hold a listening session, where people from the community can come and share their experiences
Send out a card inviting people to a time of celebration of the community (resources / templates for this will be added here)
Hold a Thank You service/evening for those in the community that worked in supermarkets / hospitals etc
Hold a community BBQ free of charge / street party etc
Send a card to everyone in the street saying although the circumstances have changed you are still there to help!
More information will be added here about how to use this time to evaluate your church mission / outreach projects and looking at how you can grow moving forward.