It feels like forever since Covid-19 changed all of our lives in March and we’ve been able to meet in person for club, Sunday services, or just with friends to catch up, doesn’t it? As social creatures, the ability to gather, serve, and worship together is critical to our discipleship journeys. But what can we do when our old ways of connecting are not an option? Can we engage in authentic spiritual discipleship online? I believe we can!
As a reformed gamer, I used to spend vast amounts of time in online communities and have seen firsthand the way relationships can [safely] develop through virtual and socially distant experiences.
If you’re looking for some new ways to grow your community and deepen your relationships, here are a few things to try.
Connect with a pastor or food pantry. Find out if anyone in your community is in need of help with food or other basic necessities. Reach out to friends, church members and others who may want to help donate or gather supplies, and then offer to drop the items off at the person’s or family’s house! You’ll be amazed at how connected communities become when they work together to fill a need!
Find ways to continue studying the Bible together. Start a Facebook group or a group chat, where you can all discuss a passage of the Bible in a concentrated way! Groups are a great way for people to stay connected with circles of friends and family, and the casual atmosphere of sharing ideas and discussing Bible passages can lead to some amazing things! Facebook groups are also an easy way to share prayer requests and give each other updates on possible needs in the community that the group could help fill!
Try a video-chat game night! We all have gotten so used to using video chat and virtual meetings, so why not use them while you play games? Look for something your group would want to play—either an online video game or a physical game that can be played over video chat! Finding creative ways to play board games, Pictionary, or even a classic game like Scrabble could be a fun challenge! Schedule time on a night that works and meet consistently so everyone has something to look forward to during the week!
Host a virtual watch party! So many people miss going to the movies, so why not bring that experience home, and watch a movie with friends and family over video chat!
Find creative ways to get to know your neighbors! How many of us really know who we live near? While everyone is home and looking for ways to stay social, now is a perfect time to have a socially distant dinner in the yard. Set up tables and invite a family over to safely connect and get to know each other!
Now More Than Ever, online and in person, we must invest in the mission of raising up the greatest generation of disciples the world has ever seen. COVID-19 has taken so much from our lives and has complicated them. But in a lot of ways, people are more than ever willing to reach out and connect. Being intentional about how you use technology in this time is also so important; it is too easy to just sink into spiritual isolation when we only interact with church online! Finding the right balance of both digital and in-person engagement will help you and your family stay connected and continue growing in faith!