Coronavirus: Locked Down? Locked Down, But Not Locked Out!
A Sermon By: Pastor Henry T. Anderson
Windsor Avenue Bible Church, Oceanside, NY
1 Corinthians 9:22
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
Intro: I’d like to Preach on the thought of how we can still be effevtive in Outreach and Evangelism during this Coronavirus Lockdown, particularly Via Social Media Outreach and the title of the Message is:
Coronavirus: Locked Down? Locked Down, But Not Locked Out!
Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”…and because of The Coronavirus Lockdown, you see Pastor Hank I can’t even leave my house. You may be Locked Down, But Not Locked Out! We can now begin to Reach, Preach, Teach, Help and Encourage the world (and each other) through a device we hold in our hand, or a Laptop computer or a Desktop Computer. The world has changed, and there are great opportunities for the Church now during The Coronavirus Lock.
Throughout history, the method by which the Church performed the Great Commission has been propelled by technology. For the Apostle Paul, it was the Roman road system and Mediterranean Shipping Lanes. For the Reformation, it was the Printing Press. For us today, it is the power of the Internet in the palm of the hand of nearly all the people of our Church, and we can start our Outreach to almost every man, woman, and child in our Church’s vicinity.
You and I are living through the biggest Communication Shift in 500 years. Every industry is being disrupted. And our Churches aren’t immune to these changes.
What do Sears, Blockbuster, and Toys R Us all have in common?
Sears and Toys R Us failed to innovate in their business model. Ignoring the shifts in shopping behavior from brick and mortar store to Online Shopping. Hello Amazon!
Blockbuster….The Company That Helped Grow a Generation of Movie Buffs and Gamers.
Remember when a trip to your neighborhood Blockbuster was a part of literally every weekend? Movies for you and the wife, then another two or three for the kids? That familiar blue and yellow logo was a constant...and a reminder that we had all made it to Friday and beyond. So how did Blockbuster fail and bomb out?
Two things, 1: People did not want to stand in line on a Saturday, haggling over late fees. But the late fees were an important profit center for Blockbuster. And 2: Hello Netflix Cofounders Hastings Reed and Marc Randolph both had seen a market opening...they had personally paid around $50 bucks in movie rental late fees, and both realized this was turning customers completely off….that there was a better, more convenient way to enjoy movies, and they were right. With profits in excess of $3 billion, Netflix is not only a streaming giant, the company is also consistently first to market with award-winning shows and content….and it still giving traditional cable quite a bit of competition. It is the nation’s 10th largest internet company by revenue, and steadily growing.
Barron’s is reporting that more people are on Netflix than ever…
The Verge is reporting that all the Livestreaming is actually straining The Internet…
Me and My Wife watched The Movie: Contagion last night. A little Realistic-Creepy…
They say that content is King and remember Church we have The King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s – Jesus!
Fast forward to The American Church:
Church attendance in America is steadily declining – and has been for more than a decade. Meanwhile, young people are leaving our churches at an alarming rate. The Church’s doors are physically closed now…
But here’s the good news…
There are 167 hours beyond our Sunday service each week. And thanks to the Internet and Social Media, you can use those 167 hours to help fulfill your Church’s mission.
I like to say it this way: Seize The 167.
Social Media Outreach and Evangelism can be used anytime of the day or night!
Every day from 8:30am-5:30pm and sometime I Post at night, in the middle of the night and even in the early morning I Post on Facebook Why? I’m awake, People are up! I want to be an encouragement to You all and I want to be an encouragement to the world!
8:30 Every Morning I put a Picture of Coffee and Donuts and at 9:30 I Put a Prayer Request Post, Why? Nice way to start the day!
Social media can be used for good or evil Just like everything else.
1 Timothy 1:8 says:
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
It’s not against the law or The Bible to use Social Media!
The beauty of the Digital Age, unlike so many technologies and advances of the past, is that the startup costs are quite low. Most social media accounts are entirely free to create. Blogs and websites can be free or a few dollars a month to manage. Podcasting and video creation can be done by anyone with a smartphone. Gone are the days of needing a book publisher to spread an idea, or a production studio for filming, or a group of professionals to record your voice. The Internet is, at least for now, a democracy and very affordable. It’s not about the costs, it’s about engaging the world with an authentic voice that has something of value to say. And Jesus is our Value!
The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people to Christ, and to make us like him. Let us go out with creativity, boldness, and these amazing new tools in our hands to share the best news in the world with more people than ever before. As Jesus travelled and dealt with different people and spread The Good News, let us do the same finding ourselves with people wherever they are. The World is Digital and makes its dwelling amongst us so that like Paul said in our Opening Text: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some…
Social media is like a giant megaphone for its users. It’s easier than ever for people to shout the Gospel from the rooftops and get the Message of The Good News to the masses. The more we can equip you to share positive things about our Church experience, the more likely our friends are to attend.
1. Social media can help you be where your audience are.
As a Church, your job is to help & serve others. The question is, how can you serve someone if you do not go to or be where they are? Currently, there are 3.5 billion Social Media users worldwide. Facebook is the most popular social media platform. 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users. Users spend an average of 3 hours per day on social networks and messaging. 68% of Americans use Facebook… Everyday people watch one billion hours of videos on YouTube and generate billions of views. Praise God our Church is on those Platforms!
WE NEED TO GO WHERE THEY ARE, NOT WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TO BE. HELLO CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN!
Evangelism is about bringing Christ to the people exactly where they are; learning their language and culture in order to engage them in the life-changing message of God with us. In doing so, we begin to discover the Church in a new place.
People are connecting, making friends, dating, reading the news, celebrating life’s milestones, shopping, laughing, and learning online for more hours a day than almost any other activity. This is where our culture is spending its life, and this is the new frontier and opportunity for a life-changing presence of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Internet users are now spending an average of 3 hours a day on Social Networking and Messaging Platforms.
Everyone is constantly checking and Posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter during the day – Social Media plays a significant role in our daily lives. In this digital age, most of us are slowly becoming (if not already) social media addicts and spend a lot of time browsing the different mediums throughout the day.
2. Social Media can help you influence.
As custodians of God’s word, we are called to influence the world. We are the salt and light of the world. We are the yeast that is destined to influence the dough. We are the vessels that carry solutions to the world’s biggest problems. And social media is where people are asking the questions, looking for answers and spending time researching. Studies show that an average person spends 3 hours a day on Social Media. If our ministry or Church is not present on Social Media, how can you influence the people who are crowding around this space for hours?
REACHING PEOPLE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
There are many people who would never accept an invitation from a Christian friend to attend a church service or small group Bible study. However, that same person might click and watch a compelling video with a Christian message posted by the same friend on Facebook. A person may never think to go to a Church for help in a time of personal crisis, but they may discover a Church’s grief support group when they search “funeral services” on Google. Old friends may never have face-to-face contact anymore, but a person may reach out to an old Christian friend who’s easy to reach through a private Facebook message to ask for Prayer.
3. Social media can help you educate.
If you are in teaching ministry you should be on social media. Period. Social media is well suited for education from a technical and design perspective. I put my Sermons and Verse by Verse Bible Study On our website windsoravenuebiblechurch.org. It teaches people.
4. Social media can help you build a community.
God’s plan for His Church is to operate as a community. And social media networks are designed to facilitate community building. That is why I believe the Church and Social Media are such a good fit. Building a community online requires specific technology, features and infrastructure. Most social media networks come with those features already built in – members only content, group events, group calendar, privacy settings, instant messaging facility, notifications, etc.
We also need to use our Social Posts to communicate the things people actually want to know about our Church.
I know this sounds simple, but hear me out.
Too often, Churches are focused on communicating what’s important to themselves rather than asking what’s important to their audience.
• While we’re busy talking about your worship team’s latest song, the community is wondering if they are welcome in your services.
• While you’re talking about the latest program or event, people are really wondering if our Church is a safe place to bring their children. People want to see pictures of the Kid’s Ministry and I do that!
• While you are posting about your new sermon series, your audience is wondering if the Pastor is credible or if the Church is made up of a bunch wackos.
People are curious about what the services are like. We post short video clips and photos from various parts of your service to show what they’re like. I often take a short Video of the Kids in The Bounce House!
First-timers often say that they had a hard time finding your church. That’s why we put Google Maps and directions explaining how to get to our location right on our Website.
Guests wonder what they’re supposed to wear. That’s why I routinely post photos of our Church family walking into the Church Lobby & Gym and express a “come as you are” theme. You guys can should take pictures and put them on your Facebook Page!
People worry that our Church is a place where they’ll get overlooked. You share stories of how our Ministries have helped someone build relationships with others. Food Pantry Story…
And You can find a Ton of Info on our I’m New Page on our Website!
5. Social Media can help you make Church Events and Announcements.
Social Media channels are mostly accessed by people using their mobile devices. Which means any communication going through Social Media can be instantly delivered to the recipient.
Easter Ham Lunch and Loaded Easter Baskets can be found on Facebook Events and Eventbrite, all Free! I’m hoping we can be together by Easter!
6. Social media can help you receive donations.
Facebook already has a built in ‘Donate’ button for nonprofits. By integrating social media into your ministry, you can make it easier for people who like to partner with you financially.
7. Social media can help you minister to people when they travel.
When the members of your congregation travel, they may not be able to attend some of the events or church services. If you use Social Media to LIVE stream or make available recorded content of your ministry this will help them stay connected to their Church.
8. Social media can help you minister to people who cannot travel. Again, Hello Coronavirus Lockdown!
Some people may not be able to come in person to your church or ministry events due to various reasons. For example, health reasons or family challenges or some religious constraints. In those cases, social media can be a great way for people to stay in touch with your ministry and access all the resources that they need through social media.
9. Social media can help you reduce your Advertising expenses.
Social media advertising is one of the most affordable forms of paid promotions that is available today.
10. Social media can help you get feedback.
Collecting feedback can be crucial to the growth of a ministry. Knowing what people want, how they feel and what they think can make all the difference to your planning. Social media is an easy convenient and powerful tool to collect such information. You can make use tools like Facebook Polls. Reviews, 5 Stars!
11. Social media can help you convey your Ministry Vision.
If God has given you a vision that can impact the society and build His Church, it is good for you to share it with as many people in as many ways as possible. Social Media is designed to take a message and spread it among a specific group of people. So if you can take your vision and strategically communicate it to your audience on Social Media, then people may want to help you accomplish that vision. Using Social Media you can communicate your vision visually and interactively, making it more engaging and interesting. We put that on our Website:
WABC IS A MULTI-ETHNIC, MULTI-GENERATIONAL CHURCH BUILT THROUGH DISCIPLESHIP AND LOVE.
WABC A PLACE: • To Believe • To Belong • To Become
WELCOME HOME! We're Saving a Seat For You!
We are a Family of Faith Serving Long Island and NYC!
Our Mission Statement on our Website reads:
Windsor Avenue Bible Church exists to help lead all people from all backgrounds to come to know God, to love God and to live for God. With God's love we can serve and bring the Community together!
A love filled life full of new opportunities, a new joy and a new hope for the future and we simply want as many people as possible to experience God's love!
12. Social media can help you improve your Ministry event attendance
Promoting ministry events will not be a challenge if you spend time laying the foundation for your social media ministry. When they follow you and share your content regularly, your social media reach starts to grow. With a good reach, whenever you promote your events on Social Media, the right audience will get to know about it and sign up. You can also use Social Media to make the event experience better for your audience. Using social media you can help them connect with other participants, connect with the speakers, access teaching resources, ask questions, etc.
Again, Eventbrite, Facebook Events… All Free!
How you Can We Use Social Media to Help Grow our Church!
Have your Staff Members and Church Members on social media engaging people and talking about life.
Create video content to be able to be shared across multiple platforms.
Use Facebook Live (or Periscope or Instagram Live even) to post what is happening during your service.
Create other content to speak into the lives of others.
Disciple others about Social. Pastor Hank’s Social Media Team!
Remember, Social Media can be good or bad.
How do I honor God online? Be Holy!
1 Peter 1:15-16
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Social Media reflects who you are...
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Guard your tongues, heart and THUMBS!
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Use Wisdom of what you do, say and post online.
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Social Media is a Rough and Tumble at times, there’s Cyber Bullying…
Defend The Faith!
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
What can I do?
1. Get a Facebook and Instagram Account. I can help You, on this! Just bring a Smartphone, Laptop or a Tablet and we’ll get You going!
2. “Check In”. It’s let’s your Friends know you’re in Church!
3. Give Windsor Avenue Bible Church a 5 Star Positive Review on Facebook, Google and Yelp!
Let’s do this now!
4. Don’t just hit the “Like Button”. Comment and Share. Facebook will show it to more friends if there’s more engagement!
Share, Share, Share!
5. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!
Give People A Reason To Come Back
We’re often quick to tell people to follow us online, but rarely give them a good reason to. What’s in it for your audience to follow you? Maybe it’s consistent encouraging posts to keep them motivated or links to useful blog posts. Maybe it’s powerful quotes from Sunday’s message or recap videos. You can get really creative with this. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask how you can make their day better with your posts.
Stay Informed! Easter Coming:
Again, Check the Facebook Posts every Day.
Cross Equals Love, Easter Videos, An Invite Video of Me!
Share, Share, Share!
6. Make Friends with each other on Facebook! This brings the Friendship to an everyday Relationship instead of just on Sundays!
7. Remember, Through Social Media You are spreading the Good News!
25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
2 Timothy 4:2
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Social Media is the New Town Square!
Throughout history, people of all generations have gathered in town squares—public spaces where the local community gathers for social and commercial purposes.
The Apostle Paul preached in open squares where the people gathered. In Acts 13 it was to the Jews at Antioch in Pisidia. In Acts 17, it was to the literal town square of conversation—Mars Hill.
People today aren’t sitting around in debate clubs. They aren’t going to the town squares in the middle of cities. Instead, they’re having discussions on social media. It’s where people are gathering, debating, discussing ideas and connecting with others. Why wouldn’t you want to be there?
If Churches truly want to see the Gospel impact and influence a community, they should go to the place where the most significant conversation is actually taking place right now. Today, that’s on social media.
Social media is no longer a fad. It is established in our culture.
I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some…
Let’s Use Social Media to Save Some, Amen, Let's Pray
Preached on Sunday, March 29, 2020