Do you ever wonder what it looks like to stay on mission this year? this month? or this week, even? We continue to plan and prepare, wondering if it's for couches or pews, in person or online.
We waited with bated breath for the new year of 2021 to be a curtain call for the uncertainty that 2020 brought about, yet the continued uncertainty of changing restrictions has left few Churches unaffected.
Last week, LifelineAustralia recorded its busiest day ever, with a record 3,345 calls which is the highest daily number in the organisation's history. The staggering number reveals an unmissable opportunity for churches to create a community that moves with people, no matter what.
In a recent article, Phil Cooke states,
“One of the most interesting things I’m seeing around the world is how pastors are ready to change things as they emerge from the COVID lockdowns. They’re wondering why church services have rarely evolved over the last hundred or more years, and perhaps it’s time for a shakeup.”
Pre-Covid, Melinda Dwight, National Director of Alpha Australia, was skeptical of the effectiveness of Alpha Online. She shares,
Alpha Australia continues to see churches connect with people from their communities by embracing the powerful technology that is available to us.
The opportunity of digital evangelism through Alpha Online has been significant, undertaken by church leaders like Ed Yorston, of Church by the Bridge in Kirribilli Sydney who posted his Alpha testimony on Instagram as a way of extending the invitation to Alpha Online and saw his friend's father who lived in a rural area come to faith and join their online church community through Alpha Online.
We’ve seen its effectiveness, like when an attendee of C3 Church Kawana Waters family member tried Alpha Online, they started the first week video-off, mic-off and by the last session they had video-on, mic-on and were eagerly participating in the discussions, or like a member of St Faiths Narrabeen who had never been allowed to attend youth but was able to tune into the youth ministries Alpha Youth Online and was overcome by the love of God.
Ben Higgins, the Alpha’s National Youth Director shares,
As the church finds new ways to reach their community with the message of the Gospel, Alpha Australia is finding new ways to best equip and serve them in their mission. These new ways are not just through online ministry, but through the powerful adaptability of hybrid evangelism. As McCrindle Research stated in their report about the future of the Australian Church, that ‘like the future of the office and events, there is broad recognition that churches of the future will be hybrid, combining a physical gathering with digital platforms to engage as many people as possible.’
Do changing restrictions have you moving from in-person to online, or maybe from online back to in-person? As you move, Alpha moves with you.