COVID-19 Resources

With the recent changes to the ability to gather in our places of worship, and even to assemble multiple people in the same physical space, a lot of churches will be thinking through how they might be able to use technology to be able to keep meeting together.

There are a huge number of options to think through, and in a season where there are already a lot of changes to manage, this can feel overwhelming.

When moving online, don’t think that you need to have everything be broadcast TV quality, or that you need to buy a lot of equipment. It’s best to start slowly, and keep learning. Remember that people in your congregation (or youth group) will need to learn these things too.

You might like to ask:

  • how are you going to maintain and sustain what you’re committing to?
  • how does what you’re doing communicate your values, cultures, and beliefs?
  • how can you use this external force of change to encourage people from the fringes of your group to contribute more?
  • how will you welcome new people?
  • how will you help people who are not technology-savvy?

Below are a few resources to help think this through for churches and youth groups.

Useful Forms

If you have suggestions for what could be added, please email admin@pynsw.org.au

Video options

Realtime broadcast

  • Facebook Live – share what you’re doing over the internet as a facebook video in realtime.
  • YouTube Live – share what you’re doing over YouTube in real time

Upload and then invite everyone in

  • Facebook Premiere – upload a video to Facebook, and everyone can go to the page at a particular time and watch it
  • YouTube Premiere – upload a video to YouTube, build up expectations of when it will be launched, and invite people to watch it together.
  • Make a webpage with your order of service: collect various media types together into the one page.

Real time video chat

Zoom

Zoom is a video chat platform which works with app, browser, or dial in on a regular phone

Free account available, limited to 40-min duration calls. Paid account starts at $20.99/month for calls of up to 24 hours with up to 100 participants.

Facebook group: Zoom for Ministry

Video: how to run a prayer meeting over Zoom

PY Document – ways to connect to a Zoom call

PY Document – Advanced features of Zoom to consider

Skype

Skype is a video conferencing app that needs a free account to use, and an app to be installed.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts allows video chat – you need a free Google account to run it.

PIM Congregation Connect

Free to Presbyterian Churches at the moment – how it works.

PIM Congregation Connect Facebook User group

Church Online Platform

Church Online Platform (free, but requires more technical literacy than the other options on this page).

Thinking about running church offline and online

Facebook Group: Mission Thinking in Sydney and Illawarra 

Facebook Group: Online church ideas

PY Document: Issues to consider in going online

Thinking about youth group online

A post talking through some of the child protection concerns with online youth group

Jericho Road guidelines for online communication with young people

Safe Ministry guidelines from the Anglican PSU

What about music?

PY Document: What a CCLI Streaming Licence can help with.

Sample approaches of ways to do church:

Pre-record – https://www.cornerstonechurch.com.au/church-online

Livestream – https://www.gracepoint.org.au/

How to make sure those with accessibility needs are included:

  • Closed captioning for the hard of hearing
  • Auslan for the deaf who know sign language – you could add video of someone signing into your video chat
  • Telephone access into whatever you’re doing
  • Recording the sermon / service and distributing on DVD/CD

Remembering to contact people in your congregation:

  • Prayer triplets: can you set up people in threes who can connect on the phone or virtually?
  • Small groups over Zoom / PIM Congregation Connect
  • Phone Calls
  • Checking your volunteers for burnout, given their extra levels of stress
  • Counselling services
  • Increased risk of domestic violence
  • Financial Hardship

Closing Thoughts

What impact are these changes having on the young people at your church? How can you best encourage them (and your youth leaders) through this season?


Ministry Papers

Provide an email address below to download a copy of the Ministry Papers.




Useful Forms

Some form templates that may be helpful as you run youth group are available on the Jericho Road website.

Other Resources

Here we showcase different ideas from around the state that have been helpful.

Organising and promoting an event for parents of youth group kids (Ed Sowden, Bathurst)