For four weeks we are reporting on the responses from our Covid-19 Survey. Thanks, again, for those of you who participated!
The Survey was designed to cover four key areas about what congregations have been experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic and thoughts about beyond Covid-19. The areas surveyed included:
- Ministry Volunteerism
- Learnings from the Covid-19 Era
TODAY’S FOCUS IS ON MINISTRY VOLUNTEERISM
Question: During the pandemic, have you volunteered for something new? If so, what?
44% of the respondents said “Yes”.
56% of the respondents said “No
- Food distribution systems.
- Packing lunches for the homeless.
- Working with a charity that is providing grants to workers who are not eligible for public assistance.
- Making Face Masks.
- Read children’s books and submitted the video to a local tutoring program.
- Did some shopping for a few people who are at risk.
- Calling other church members in an organized effort to stay in touch.
- Making lunch bags for the housekeeping staff at local hospital
Question: Beyond Worship, did you participate in remote ministries offered by your church? (i.e. bible study, book group, small group, prayer group, etc.) If so, what?
67% of the respondents said “Yes”.
31% of the respondents said “No”.
- 2/3 of the respondents mentioned Bible Study.
- Daily devotionals on website,
- Committee Meetings.
- Sunday School, International English Conversation Classes for our International students.
- Fellowship groups, study groups, meetings, zoom, zoom, zoom.
- Exercise, Bible Study, coffee hour, daily devotions, book club, birthday celebrations of friends, “cocktail hour” to catch up with church friends.
- Wednesday evening prayer via Facebook.
- Youth Group.
- Text Study.
- Bilingual Bible Studies.
- Bible study, small groups, hospitality hour on Sundays, adult forums.
As we find ourselves in the midst of this pandemic and the realities of quarantine and social distance, questions about the ministries of the church and the volunteering by members are important. In the early days of the pandemic with stay at home directives and businesses shutting down for a time, churches quickly sought out digital resources to provide a worship experience for their congregation and then began to explore other ministry activity possibilities. With the restrictions of Covid-19 and the changes that this pandemic has brought in our interactions, churches are finding ways to do ministry, to meet needs and connect with others.
Those respondents that indicated that they had “volunteered for something new” mentioned some specific activities in response to the pandemic – making masks, working with other organizations to help those who don’t qualify for public assistance, and reading children’s books on video. There was mention of participating in “Marches”, because the protests calling for racial justice have been a part of our experience during this pandemic. We also heard about those church related ministry activities that serve our neighbor, like food distribution, lunches for the homeless, and calling on church members to stay connected. As is always true for the church, we share what we have with those in need around us – and even in a pandemic, creativity is one of the gifts of the Spirit.
As for the answers concerning remote ministries, there is a sense that for many people, there was a quick and steep learning curve with digital access as a tool for ministry. Whether it was Zoom, Google or Facebook, churches have engaged the available digital tools to provide for more than their weekly worship service. Bible studies, committee meetings, social activities and small groups have been kept together by meeting “virtually” through these valuable tools. All of these activities and interactions are critical to the ministry and the sense of community for the church. Clearly, churches are using many of the tools at their disposal to keep their ministries active and growing.
Scott A. Jacob, Program Director
The James Company