We have links with a church in the US who have live-streamed services for some time. Recently, they did some analysis of where people were tuning in from and found that they had people joining in from all around the world, including the UK. They then asked one of our elders if (with our permission), he would be willing to act as the online host for one of their broadcasts. This would mean he could also follow up with people. They didn’t want people to simply tune in to them but they realised that the viewers could include
- Non-Christians who had stumbled across the site
- Christians viewing as something additional.
Their desire is to see people connected into a local church and that is one thing our elder will help with. However, what if we find that there isn’t a healthy gospel centred church near to where they live?
So, what If we used this as a prompt to identify people and places and opportunities for church planting? We are probably not going to be able to hit the ground running with some of our physical church planting at the moment as the possibilities of renting premises to meet and the ability for planters to move physically into areas are restricted. However, perhaps we have a golden opportunity here.
So, here’s the suggestion.
- What if City to City or some other such church planting organisation were to start co-ordinating analysis of where churches are picking up people tuning in to services beyond their usual catchment area.
- Where a cluster of people are identified, we could then nominate someone to start connecting those people online, e.g. through Zoom.
- We identify a potential long-term planter/pastor for a future church. This could be a current student at Oak Hill, London Seminary or Union. They then pair up with the church offering the current provision and begin to research the area as well as joining the online link up. This enables them to identify and investigate a potential longer term calling to an area.
- We begin to plan for a potential physical plant in 2021 once pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
I am going to leave the comments open because I would be very interested to hear from you if this is something you would be interested in – or have already been doing.