How have you been imagining ministry life after COVID-19?
Do you think the strategies you were using in February will still be the right strategies?
Here's what I'm thinking.
If you already had an engagement pathway that helped connect people connect online, you'll be ahead of the curve.
If you already had a strategy in place that would be an obvious first (or early) step of engagement from the online service (or even from the website), you'll be setting the pace for the rest of us.
If your website already had an effective value proposition explaining why unconnected people need to be members of a small group, you will only have to edit it slightly (after COVID-19 few will need real convincing that they need people in their lives).
If you already instilled in your congregation the idea of "doing the study with a couple friends," it will be easy to begin making the same ask online.
If your greeters and ushers were as skilled as your online hosts (and Facebook Live hosts) at helping infrequent attendees know what to do, you should be golden.
On the flip side
If looking over the statements above makes you wonder if you're really ready for POST-COVID-19, let me give you a to-do list:
1. Since your online service attendance will most likely remain strong after the all-clear is given, you're going to need to develop and have in place a way that unconnected people online can get connected or find a few friends.
2. Since Zoom, FaceTime and Google Hangouts have become more familiar to almost everyone, why not launch a first step from the online service and/or your website that serves as a virtual lobby?
3. Since social media usage increased dramatically during COVID-19, why not continue to leverage social media (shares, likes, comments, etc.) after the all-clear?
What is your next step?
One of the most important things we can do right now is prepare for what's next.
Can we know with absolute certainty what will happen post-COVID-19? I don't think so.
What we can do is make an educated guess. And my educated guess is that online worship attendance will remain stronger than it was prior to March and on-campus attendance will at least initially be affected by new habits and residual fears about gathering, checking children into kids ministries, etc.
Louis Pasteur said, Chance favors the prepared mind. I say, let's be prepared to connect as many unconnected people as we can post-COVID-19.