Since the pandemic we’ve all made shifts to get through these times. One of the biggest shifts for churches has been technology. When we were forced to close our buildings, we had to find a way to worship and gather remotely. We’ve been pushed to use Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook. We’ve all had to keep our eyes glued to our emails and text messages to know what is going on. It’s been a big change, but I think one that was inevitable.
Westhunt has had a website and a Facebook page for years now. But we’ve had to rely more on these things during the pandemic. We’ve posted our worship videos and Barry’s music on Facebook. We’ve had to announce our COVID policies and the dates of the reopening of our buildings. We’re updating our website to include current information and to see what we can add to it. These are all new things we’ve had to do, but they’ve been more necessary now than ever.
The truth is that live-streaming worship services on Facebook is here to stay. This past weekend we live-streamed on Facebook for the first time, instead of taping the service and posting it hours later. Live-streaming our worship service is part of the new normal and the way worship will be from now on. There will be people who will want to gather in person, but live-streaming will always be available. There will be people who prefer to worship virtually and may come in person every once in a while. Our Facebook page gets a decent amount of traffic, especially for the holidays and special occasions. This is part of the big shift happening right now. It’s happening in every congregation around the country.
We’re experiencing a huge shift in the church that was already happening, but has sped up because of the pandemic. Technology has been one aspect. The other is that the church is becoming very local. Most congregations feel pulled to serve their local neighborhood. And the rest? We’ll see. No one alive completely knows what the future of the church is, but we’ll walk into the future together. God will walk with us too.
These are stressful times and also exciting times. There’s lots of room to be creative and try new things. New ideas are needed. We just have to be brave enough to do it. Things are changing and it can be hard. It can also be exciting too. This is a time to try things we’ve never tried. It’s a time to remember why our faith is important and come back to our values.
Big shake ups are hard and we’re going through a big one. We‘ll be going through it for the foreseeable future and we don’t know where we will end up. With all that said, our leaders here at Westhunt are kind, smart and courageous and we will walk this road with courage. We’ve pivoted for 18 months and we can keep adjusting as we go.