Many years ago I came across an old multi-volume set of John Wesley’s journals.
I found his accounts fascinating. Meticulous, inspiring, yet with some being insightful in the mundane and technical aspects of doing ministry. For instance, on Sunday October 6, 1782, Wesley writes:
I preached in Temple church, between our own morning and evening service; and I now found how to speak here, so as to be heard by every one: Direct your voice to the middle of the pillar fronting the pulpit.
Before Covid, and when everyone was meeting in brick-and-mortar, your tech people were probably arguing over the volume of the subs or if people couldn’t hear because the speakers were out-of-phase. Apparently, Wesley was wrestling with the same problems nearly 250 years ago: coverage.
But even more important is the larger issue of communication itself. Coverage is more than audio levels. In our work with churches, the most obvious learning during this pandemic is the need to communicate much, much more than pre-Covid. Besides Sunday streaming, most churches are now doing some form of weekly and even daily video devotions, incorporating midweek videos of simple worship, increasing their emails and Facebook feeds, tweeting more, or simply ramping up their phone call “check-ins” to attendees and members. The felt-need to expand the sense of connectivity and communicate more often and in different mediums has been exponentially increased.
It seems that many leaders were under the assumption that just speaking on the weekends and throwing out some announcements on a paper program was enough to disseminate information and connection. Even most church websites were suddenly seen as woefully inadequate in how and what they communicated…particularly as a front-door to the church.
We can’t go back to the old ways. The learning curve over the past half-year has been an opportunity too great to miss.
Question of the Day: What are you learning—and assimilating—during these extraordinary times?
Dave Workman | ELEMENTAL CHURCHES