This morning our church held its first online service. We are a small church, not especially technically advanced, and we don't typically do this type of thing. But here in California, it is a state mandate for the services to cancel and as positively as possible, we complied.
It was delayed for some time because of who knows what difficulties and the final product was a little choppy. Only about a third of the music people had any lights on them at all. Yet I was amazed at how touched I was by the service and how effective it was. Because of the delay, everyone in chat was very talkative while we waited. We are an older congregation and I was surprised at the amount of interaction between all ages. The closeness of everyone was palpable and I felt the reality of the Body of Christ in my heart more than I've ever felt in a service together. All in all, a wonderful experience.
But I was also very aware of the people who were not part of the service.
There are numerous people in our congregation who I know do not have computers at home or smartphones (they have been in my Sunday School classes and I know them well).
In this time where the virus is incredibly isolating, we are able to do great things with technology and it's a fantastic time for churches to stretch themselves in this area. But not everyone has access to the technology to receive what we put out in new ways. Those who can't are some of the most vulnerable, fragile, and isolated people in the church. We must take care of them also.
So what to do for them?
Print is still possible!
The mail doesn't seem to have been affected by the virus and it's an opportunity to take a second look at one of my favorite forms of communication—The POSTCARD!!!!
I'll be doing a series of articles and sharing ideas and FREE TEMPLATES for you in the coming days on how to communicate during this challenging time, but to get you started, I created a set of FREE POSTCARDS for you. They are all simply non-editable PDFs I created using Canva Templates (you have to download them as a complete graphic, that's why you can't edit them). But I did a layout for you in MS Publisher so you can print them 4 to a page and print or write a message from your church on the back.
This set was created to encourage people—fear and uncertainty are pervasive, but it is also an incredible opportunity to encourage people in our great God. When I did the first draft of this post, I made it specifically for everyone who doesn't have access to online materials. However, I then realized that EVERYONE needs tangible encouragement--so make them up for everyone!
Below are pictures of them and below that a ZIP file for you to download, save, and print. Please freely share these with anyone who would find them helpful.
Much more will be coming. Pray for me for the strength and focus to do all that will be helpful for Church Communicators. I am praying for all of you that you step up and serve as never before to equip and encourage your people in our Great God!
CLICK the following link to download ready-to-print PDFs of the Postcards: PDF Quarter Page Encouraging Postcards
CLICK the following link to download IMAGES of the Postcards: Postcards to Encourage
The total file was too big to combine both, but you can use the single images however you might want.