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With the Coronavirus now becoming a pandemic, schools moving towards a fully online learning environment, large events being closed, and community centers providing limited services, we as church leaders are now being called to strategize how we can continue to engage with our congregations while maintaining a healthy environment for them. NYTS completely understands and believes this is a wise strategy at this critical juncture.
Please check our website www.nyts.edu and our social media handles for our latest updates. NYTS will provide live-stream informational sessions with medical experts to help you navigate these challenging times.
With that in mind, we would like to direct you to some online tools that help extend the reach to your congregations. This list is not exhaustive but is an introduction to services, such as online giving, video conferencing, group texting and group calling services. All offer free and/or paid services.
Please reconsider how you collect the offering in your church. If you traditionally “pass the plate” consider having congregants come to the front to drop off the offering in a basket.
Ideally, you can move to online giving. Online giving tools help with giving and engagement with tools built for churches and ministries. It allows individuals and families to support critical church services through offerings, tithing, and special needs. Here are a few services:
Each of the services provides:
No merchant account, card reader, or kiosk required.
No web programming or software to install.
No contracts, set up fees or monthly charges.
Only 2.9% + $0.30 per donation.
Video Conferencing software allows for church leaders to connect to the congregations for a variety of reasons, from Bible Study to Meetings and even provide church services in novel and creative ways.
Although video technology may present some initial challenges, such as disruption due to poor connectivity, there are many benefits:
FLEXIBILITY – You can set up times for bible study and services that may not have been possible in traditional church settings.
MOBILITY – As long as your phone, tablet or computer is with you, your Bible discussions, meetings and services move along with you.
NO TRAVEL TIME
CONNECTION – Today’s technology allows us to connect with people we normally wouldn’t be able to.
REACH – You are no longer limited by those that can physically attend a group meeting in person.
Here are some video conferencing tools available:
Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts is a free video-conferencing tool you can download to your computer. It provides a simple way to lead and ask questions throughout your online Bible study and prayer requests through your service.
Zoom Conferencing – Zoom provides users a simple way to host virtual Bible studies while making it easy for people to join and share the Bible study class or service in a video conference setting.
Facebook Live – Facebook Live is a streaming network that provides meaningful, interactive engagement with viewers.
Youtube Live Streaming – YouTube Live is an easy way to reach your audience in real-time. Youtube Live Stream tools will help you manage your stream and interact with viewers in real-time.
All of these services provide the opportunity for your congregation to have real-time interactions such as questions, feedback and prayer requests through chats and comments.
Group messaging or group text is a form of sending one single message either through Short Messaging Service (SMS) or Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) to a group of people.
GroupMe – a free, simple way to stay connected with: Family. Roommates. Friends. Coworkers. Teams. Bands. Faith Groups.”
Flocknote.com – built specifically for churches
DialMyCalls – Record a message that will be played when people answer the phone. The call will be left on voicemail if an answering machine picks up. Also offers group texting and group emailing.
Call Em All – Automated calling service with same features as the above resource.