Coronavirus measures have forced churches and religious communities to cancel their weekly gatherings. The only place where they could meet became online platforms. Using Zoom, people can communicate and feel like a part of a community.
If you were wondering how online churches keep the community together, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll tell you all the ways online churches communicate with their members and provide comfort in these difficult times.
What People Need
What people value most is the support they’re getting from others. Online communities like Soh.church became a place where everyone’s presence is appreciated and where people can talk about problems they’ve been having during the last year.
People describe their experiences as comforting since they have a chance to talk to their pastors. Also, with a lot of support groups that some communities have built, it’s pivotal for members to continue to have their meetings online. Nowadays, those meetings have migrated online to platforms like Zoom, Facetime, or Google Teams.
Lastly, social interactions are something people miss the most, and online churches give them high quality of spiritual relationships. That’s why many of them are drawn to a different way of practicing religion.
Bringing Church into People’s Homes
With more than 60 churches going online in the last year, it became obvious that they have to find a way to adapt their Sunday ceremony for people following it from their homes. Some churches even modified their rituals to fit into the limits of what cameras can capture. Many evangelical churches that already used multimedia platforms even started filming services in home settings.
One of the useful tools to bring people together is the pastor’s teachings that many of them turned into online religious schools or one-hour lectures for those who seek help. Using a talk show format, some pastors even introduced their staff as interviewees on the pandemic and everything that was happening. Even worship bands are often presented as musical guests or interviewed to share their take on recent events and their influence on their everyday lives.
Creating Strong Relationships
Some pastors decided to take a different path and directly communicate with their members. This way, they want them to participate more and transform the Sunday prayer into a more intimate experience.
In an attempt to build a homey atmosphere, priests often sit at home, next to the fire or a bookshelf, and have personal conversations with members. What’s more, they encourage people to share their stories while others support them and discuss the problems together.
If needed, pastors are also available for private consultations through Zoom so that people would still feel the notion of supporting the community. Of course, while this is more than enough for some members, others find it too different and hard to get used to.
Strong Community Is the Key
Many people find comfort in belonging to a community or a group of people alike in troubling times. Church gives them a sense of purpose and meaning like nothing else.
That’s why online churches are a good way for them to feel better until it’s possible to gather in larger groups.