During the COVID-19 crisis, our team gathers weekly to discuss the latest From the Front Lines of Ministry. We are using ChurchOS to stay clear and focused. See how other church leaders around the country are using ChurchOS as they navigate the new normal.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CALL:

  • Simple practical ideas on getting your people to invest in their neighbors
  • Frameworks for reopening live worship services
  • NEW tips on how to connect people quicker from your service to a next step
  • Ideas around partnering with Walmart
  • Ways one church increased online giving from 40% to 80% of givers
  • Thinking around “walking the trails” of social media to help your ONEs
  • Best practice ideas on how surveying should be part of your strategy right now
    • Give your people a voice and get buy in
    • Understand what they are and aren’t willing to do
  • Utilizing volunteer task forces of doctors, nurses, attorneys, and business leaders to assist in your thinking about live service return timing

TIPS ON FIRING UP RELATIONAL EVANGELISM RIGHT NOW

  • Must think “grass roots” not programmatic
  • Must give your people practical ideas and examples of things they can do to invest in their neighbors
  • Make the ask in a way that they will say “I can do that” or “Our family could do that”

IC TEAM MEMBERS ON THE CALL:

  • Bob Miller – Ministry Leader/Coach – Thomas Road Baptist Church/ServantOne – Lynchburg, VA
  • Tim Winters – Executive Pastor – Shepherd Church – Porter Ranch, CA
  • Doug Cowburn – Executive Pastor – Elim Gospel Church – Lima, NY
  • Matthew Robinson – Lead Pastor – First Baptist Church – Orlando, FL
  • Matt Wright – Lead Pastor – Willow Creek Community Church – Chicago, IL
  • Mike McDaniel – Lead Pastor – Grace Point Church – Bentonville, AR
  • Jared Perkins – Executive Pastor – Plum Creek Christian Church – Butler, KY
  • Jill Gille – Executive Director or Projects – Eastside Christian Church – Anaheim, CA
  • Mark Montemayor – Executive Pastor – Real Life Christian Church – Clermont, FL
  • Sy Huffer – Lead Minister – College Heights Christian Church – Joplin, MO
  • Tiffany Ann Johns – Strategic Consultant – Self-Employed – Parker, CO
  • Rob Kastens – Joppa, MD
  • Mike Shelly – Outreach Pastor – Real Life Church – Clermont, FL
  • Ben Coleman – Pastor of Adult Ministries – Sugar Creek Baptist Church – Sugar Land, TX
  • Mark Brewer – Executive Pastor – Oaks Church – Red Oak, TX
  • Jim Stanley – Coach & Facilitator – Indianapolis, IN
  • Dana Erickson – Executive Pastor – Illuminate Community Church – Scottsdale, AZ
  • Jeff Kirkpatrick – Systems Pastor – Rush Creek Church – Mansfield, TX
  • Bruce Cramer – Community Life Pastor – Shepherd’s Grove – Irvine, CA
  • Ed Kelley – Executive Pastor – Shelter Cove Community Church – Modest, CA

IC Staff:

  • Doug Parks – Co-Founder & CEO
  • Bart Rendel – Co-Founder & President
  • Tasha Johnson – Director of Operations
  • Kirby Andersen – Church Relations Lead – Tulsa, OK
  • Mark Kitts CTO Intentional Churches Orlando, FL

COVID-19 RESOURCES & PREVIOUS CALLS:
https://intentionalchurches.com/covid19/

CALL TRANSCRIPTION (05.08.20):

Doug Parks:

Hey everyone, welcome to the Frontlines Ministry call. I’ve kind of in the time warp, lost track of the number that we’re on. But this is the next in the series.

Doug Parks:

We’re going to focus this time on two things. One, like we have been, innovations around the Great Commission Engine, the way in which you pull it off, the Great Commission in your church, as well as we have states out there who have loosened enough. We actually had an IC church in Dallas this last week that held services. And so we’re going to start diving into how the church leaders are thinking about reopening, how we’re helping one another do that and frame it.

Doug Parks:

I think it’s really important to share out of the gate, most of you are aware this, but we are all in extremes, depending upon which state you’re in. I was on a phone call with a pastor this week in rural Pennsylvania. They’re literally opening, they think May 15th. Services are back on and they’re rolling.

Doug Parks:

And like I said, we had a church in Texas last weekend that held services, kind of a soft opening, which I think is a wise idea. As well as then the extremes of, maybe we’re not having services in New York and a few other places until 2021.

Doug Parks:

I think it’s super important that we all understand as church leaders, we’re all in different spots here. And I think the guys going first, my take is, guys and gals going first, they can help us all as they’re learning along the way, as they start reopening and engaging.

Doug Parks:

Okay, so Bart, you want to give us a quick overview of the Great Commission Engine to frame this first conversation around how we’re innovating?

Bart Rendel:

Yeah, so on every call, we use this basic, simple, biblical construct to frame our conversation, and this is how we frame church leadership actually in ChurchOS. So I’ll just go over it quickly.

Bart Rendel:

Piston number one is critical, biblical, functional component where we preach the Word and we worship and many of our gatherings right now are digital. We’re still doing those miraculous things and God is moving through it.

Bart Rendel:

Piston number two is life-changing relationships. You don’t get to make disciples without people in relationships. And how are we going to do that during this environment and then after? We talk about a lot, life-changing relationships, and how it acts to being uniquely bonded, and doing life together as a body.

Bart Rendel:

And then surrendered living in piston three is really the life change, it’s stewarding the life change that’s going on in your church. So people are giving and they’re serving and they’re loving one another. And, yes, that turns into community impact, but it also needs to turn into, for sure, the execution of this whole picture. So how do we as leaders steward that life change back into this picture? How do we focus all of this on the lost, on what we call the one out of Luke 15?

Bart Rendel:

And then the fifth component, the funnel, is what we call an engagement pathway. And we’ve been doing a lot of work, even a couple of calls back, and then some webinars recently on how to develop a digital engagement pathway. A lot of times, it’s the missing component in church, and that is how do you connect the one to you, Jesus and one another? And you do it in simple, intuitive sequential baby steps. So we talk about that some too. So back to you, Doug.

Doug Parks:

Thanks, Bart. And I’m going to start us off talking about R1, R1s and really this topic of relational evangelism. I’ve found it’s been one of the harder ones for us to crack the code on out there. But there are some headways starting to be made.

Doug Parks:

I think I’m starting to put together a framework to try to help us in this digital age of, when we’re thinking about relational evangelism, I think number one, it has to be grassroots. We are helping people connect with their neighbors by how we’re challenging them or giving them motivation to do that.

Doug Parks:

Secondly, it has to be super practical. I was on a call with my church, Hope Church, Canyon Ridge this week. And many of our people right now are already investing in their ones. But they just need like practical tips and examples of, hey, do this thing with your neighbors and invest there, very practical.

Doug Parks:

So one of the guys on the call, he’s a lay leader in our church, he was like, yeah, many people, if they just had an example of, do this, serve your neighbor this way, or do this in your neighborhood, they would do it. They just don’t think of it on their own.

Doug Parks:

And then finally, always think about your 99s that whatever you’re challenging them to do through your services, to reach their ones that they would say, oh, I can do that. Or we, our family could do that thing, whatever that is. And I’ll give an example of my own life that happened just last night, because somebody had challenged with an idea.

Doug Parks:

Around the topic of relational evangelism, Mark Brewer, you guys have started this thing called Project 167. So first, give us some background on what does that mean, how you got there, and then how it’s starting to shape programming, in terms of evangelism.

Mark Brewer:

Yeah, it’s been one of those things that for us, was probably going to be a 24 month to maybe 36 month on-ramping, but because of the new way that we’re all existing in churches, it’s given us a big window of time where we can focus attention on it. It really just is this premise that most of our people that are connected are going to give us about an hour a week of engagement. And then they’ve got another 167 hours during the week that they’re being fed some kind of content from somewhere. Some of that’s valuable, some of that’s not so valuable.

Mark Brewer:

And we look at that other 167 hours as them being on the trails. And Jesus spent a lot of time on the trails, talking to people. We don’t really have that dynamic anymore. I used to get really blown up around this social media marketing and stuff, anytime you said social media and gospel it’d just blow me up.

Mark Brewer:

But this idea, everybody’s on the trails, even when they’re at dinner, when they’re in the classroom, when they’re at work, when they’re with their spouse, whether they should be on the trails or not, they are on those social media trails. And so what we have been moving forward on is providing more value added content for our community ones and our community 99 and just small snippets of content that might be 10 to 20 minutes every time and just providing some value added.

Mark Brewer:

So it’s trail talk. The game plan is eventually to bring them into Jesus. But kind of like the Engel scale, they may be negative 10 or 15. We want to eventually get them to a place where they have a relationship with the Lord.

Mark Brewer:

But a lot of times people won’t let you help them fix their biggest problem, which is the heaven or hell issue. They won’t let you have access to that problem until you help them figure out about what the best movie is out. Or where’s the greatest restaurant? Or where’d you get your best hot dog? Or what are you doing with your kids this week?

Mark Brewer:

So we’re attempting to provide some additional trail talk and share stories and talk about life change out there on the trails as an on ramp into the church. So it’s working.

Mark Brewer:

So we’ve got married with kids, just sharing, hey, what are the crazy things we’re dealing with in being married and having kids? We’ve got a good talk show, which is really more about mental health and maintaining healthy mental perspective. We have a daily debo, which is going really well with two of our senior leaders doing that. And then we got a couple of shows that’ll be coming out, which is a real talk show.

Mark Brewer:

It’s basically, hey, let’s talk about anything. The gamut is wide open. Even about guns and pestilence and Columbus, like my friend Tim did at their church or whatever. And then we’ve got a worship and prayer show, that’s going to be, hey, here’s 15, 20 minutes for people who like to sing, which isn’t really me. But people who like to sing and worship and do more churchy centric type stuff. It’s a show that’s geared around our 99 and providing content for them.

Doug Parks:

That’s great, man, that’s great. So for me, this is one of those real practical things where I would never have thought of this on my own, but our senior guy here Drew Moore, he brought in Kona Ice truck into his neighborhood and paid for like the first whatever, however many, 100 bucks or whatever.

Doug Parks:

And so my family got a little inspired. So we did that last night, I had my daughters. So that was a real practical idea that he’s going to challenge our church to do something like that in every neighborhood across Las Vegas. So this could be a cool thing. It’s helping a local business. They love it. They are loving it as it’s catching fire here.

Doug Parks:

But I involved my kids, so my kids made the brochure, delivered it to 155 houses in our neighborhood. And as much as I could get teenagers, tried to have them pray for those houses as they went by on their bikes.

Doug Parks:

And last night, man, it was amazing. We had over 100 people. It was weird at first, like everybody had masks on and then all of a sudden there was no social distancing. My wife was freaking out. And man, we got to know so many neighbors and built bridges, kids were released. I can’t tell you how much good will.

Doug Parks:

So here’s my own little twist I’m going to put on it. So next week, it’s a handful of neighbors we’ve been trying to collect on our street. We’re going to do like Lee Coda done, and do crumble cookie delivered to these neighbors and then challenge them to deliver something like that to two other neighbors. I’m trying to get this multiplication thing at this real grassroots, practical level going in my neighborhood.

Doug Parks:

But anyway, any of those, this is what I’m seeing as a church leader, you got to bring it down to that level for us, guys. I can do that and our family is able to. I spent $300 on Kona Ice last night. But it was awesome, best $300 I’ve ever invested.

Doug Parks:

Engagement pathway. Just as a side note, we launched this week a digital engagement pathway guide. If you’re watching this and haven’t seen that or interested, if you just go to our contact page and fill out the form there and ask for the digital engagement pathway, we’ll send you that.

Doug Parks:

And Matt, you guys are getting ready to start Facebook streaming. Can you tell us how you got there, what you’re thinking it’s going to do for you guys at Willow?

Matt Wright:

Yeah, absolutely. So the concept of the engagement pathway is on one side of it, we know we’re reaching a lot of new people, that this shelter in place has opened up a different audience that we wouldn’t have reached otherwise.

Matt Wright:

And once somebody identifies as like, hey, I’m new, I’m disconnected, I want to be connected, the other side of it is, we know we’ve got a good pathway built to help them get connected. I know we’re reaching new people. I know once they identify, we’re helping them get connected.

Matt Wright:

The problem is, is that the link between the new people and the beginning of the process is unbelievably weak right now, it’s based upon people self-identifying and raising their hand and say, yup, I’m new. And we keep on firing little bullets, doing little experiments to figure out how can we increase the number of folks that would self-identify and say, hey, I’m disconnected, I want to get connected further?

Matt Wright:

So something we’re going to try. And there was another church that I heard did this. And if you’re watching, I’m sorry, I don’t remember exactly which church I remembered started doing this. But we’ve been streaming on YouTube and streaming on our website primarily. We’ve got our chat room on our website and that’s just fine. But it seems like it’s the same 100 people who hit the chats every weekend. It’s not like we’ve got a whole bunch of new folks that are entering this chat.

Matt Wright:

So we’re going to start streaming to both Facebook Live and to Instagram, our services are short enough that we can fit in that Instagram window. And basically, anybody who likes or who comments, we’re treating that like somebody who’s raising their hand.

Matt Wright:

And so the idea is we’re going to check their Facebook name. So if I go on there, and I comment Matt Wright, we’ll check Matt Wright against the ROC database and see if that person is already connected to the database. And if they’re not connected to the database, we’re going to send them a direct message from the church just saying, hey, noticed that you were checking out the service, we’re so glad. If you would like to get connected further, you can do this. Here’s a person that can walk you through, it’s kind of like an engagement pathway coach.

Matt Wright:

So what we’re trying to do is move from reactive to proactive. I don’t know if this thing is going to work, but I think what I’m learning right now is that as we are in shelter in place, experimentation wins the day. We’ve got to just keep on trying different things, keep experimenting. And this for us has a chance to just go from, boy, I really hope more people raise their hand and say I want to get connected to how can we go after folks? So that’s what we’re giving a shot.

Doug Parks:

That’s great, Matt. Love it. Yes. I’ve been saying it for weeks. He who innovates the fastest or learns the fastest wins in this kind of environment, we’re in an entrepreneurial environment. Keep trying things, everybody.

Doug Parks:

Ben, you guys launched a next step center and you’ve got a new strategy around texting to try to speed up connection. Can you talk about those?

Ben Coleman:

Yeah, absolutely. So a lot like many of the others on this call, we focused first on making sure that we had each of our three pistons online. And once we got to the point where those were pretty solidified, we started moving different parts of our engagement pathway to an online experience.

Ben Coleman:

So the first part of that was what we call our next step center. It exists on all of our campuses when we’re together live. And so we’re using Zoom to recreate that. The first week we did it was very poorly received. And we learned a lot from that first week.

Ben Coleman:

And one of the things that we changed moving forward to try to make it even more private, is that we’re utilizing the waiting room feature of Zoom, and leaving everybody in the waiting room with a custom message, letting them know that we’re bringing people in one at a time. So as somebody logs on to pray with somebody or just to talk with a decision counselor, I’m in the Zoom room as the host, I let them in, I get to know them, find out what they need. And then I have another volunteer or pastor in the waiting room that I bring in, introduce them, send them to a breakout room. And then I go back to the waiting list and just work through all the people one-on-one.

Ben Coleman:

So far we haven’t had giant numbers do that. But I feel like we’re fixing our process to where as we continue to promote this and run this, that we’re going to be able to provide a much better experience. I’m excited for that.

Ben Coleman:

Then the other thing that you asked about, texting is, we were in the very first several weeks really still using a lot of our same follow-up techniques from our live services of email, even letters in the mail, things like that. And we just realized that the speed at which people change their mind about a decision that they make in the digital world is radically faster than the speed at which they change their mind other times.

Ben Coleman:

And so we’ve been working real hard to just try to find what the best texting solution is for us. So that when people do as Matt said, self-identify that we’re responding to them and following up with them a whole lot faster through text messaging, almost right in the middle of the service. Our goal is that within an hour to an hour and a half after the services are done, that everybody has been followed up with through some type of text message.

Doug Parks:

That’s great, man. Great. And then Tim, the last thing on engagement pathway, you guys launched this last week, I believe, or correct me if not, after the message Zoom. So talk to us structurally about what that is, why you went there, and what do you think it’s going to do?

Doug Parks:

Unmute, my friend.

Tim Winters:

I flunked. Hey, real quick. Following what Matt said, the chat, we found the chat was the same people every week saying the same things every week. And we had a little bit of a controversial subject last week and it became a very toxic chat.

Tim Winters:

So we were doing away with chat on our church platform, we’ll let them chat before the service, but then we’re going to stop chat once the service starts. Because we don’t want people to talk during church. We don’t want them to sit there and talk out loud and ask questions.

Tim Winters:

So afterwards, we’re having something called after the message, ATM, which we have a Zoom room that we invite them to, anybody who hears the message, wants to come in there, ask questions, talk about anything, we’re going to have three or four pastors in there and just try that. So what we found too is our responses in chat had no context, they said that staff were dismissive to complaints or disagreements, and we kind of were a little bit, because they can’t see our face and we can’t…

Tim Winters:

So with the Zoom, they can see your face and hear our hearts. So we’re going to try that. Again, we’re starting it this week. So I’ll let you know how it works and how it goes, but we’re looking forward to trying that.

Doug Parks:

That’s great, Tim, that’s great. So we’re going to shift to piston one, which is catalytic weekend experience. It’s our worship services. And first, I want Mark Brewer to talk about how they are approaching order of service. Because this is I think one of the first times that I’ve seen a really clear shift.

Doug Parks:

So share what you guys are doing right now, why you went there and how it’s doing for you.

Mark Brewer:

Yeah, one of the main reasons we’re at least trying this on, and I appreciated what Matt was talking about, hey, if there’s a season for trying stuff and innovation, it’s right now. We’re all scrambling at some level from week to week.

Mark Brewer:

So I remember what it was like to not be a saved person. God has kept that in my mind. And if I was not a saved person, and you invite me to something, and I can get off of it really quickly then I’m not going to stick around if i don’t like it.

Mark Brewer:

And seeming at the beginning of the service is, one, I don’t know the songs, two, I don’t understand the style. Because stylistically, most worship is still different. Even though it’s similar to what we might hear out there. It’s just still different than what a person who isn’t a person of faith is going to be listening to.

Mark Brewer:

So we’re going to move worship to the back end of the service. What we’re going to do is we’re going to start with a compelling story of life change, and maybe not necessarily a gospel life change, as much as somebody’s doing something good in the community, there’s something happening.

Mark Brewer:

So really powerful front end story for a minute or two. And then we’re going to punch people right in the face, I guess, so to speak, right into the message. So it’s not going to be a long on ramp it’s basically going to be, you know what, I had already decided that the rest of my life I was going to live for God, but it was going to be a horrible experience. And I was just going to trudge my way through it.

Mark Brewer:

So a thing that’s going to be a hook, a one-liner hook within those first couple of sentences, and then we’re going to unpack it. There will be an altar call, so to speak, there can be a salvation opportunity for people to respond.

Mark Brewer:

And then after that, we may hit a couple of announcements. And then if people want to stick around and sing songs, then they’re going to be welcome to, and we’ll have live worship at the end of our service instead of putting it on the front end. And it really is just we’re testing some stuff. So we may test this the next four weeks and see what it looks like for engagement and how long people stick around.

Mark Brewer:

And I’ll update you, but we’ll know something here pretty soon on that.

Doug Parks:

That’s great, man. Hey, Matthew, you guys are starting to plan for the future a little bit already. So you have a chapel on your property. You want to tell us about what you’ve done with it, why and what’s going to happen in the future when we’re back in the new normal, whatever that is?

Matthew Robinson:

Absolutely, we have a very large campus footprint, it was built in a day and age where everyone and everything seemed to have their own dedicated space. And we have not had a video studio on our campus, and one of the last sacred cows that’s existed has been a prayer chapel that we’re not quite sure if anyone ever goes in if they come out, in what’s our Park Avenue thoroughfare the best real estate on campus that’s been untouchable.

Matthew Robinson:

Rahm Emanuel was quoted from back in his time serving in the Obama administration on a CNN article that I read this past week that said, never allow a good crisis to go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do things you once thought were impossible. And reclaiming this rarely used space we’ve thought has been impossible.

Matthew Robinson:

But we’ve recognized before we went just with online gatherings, we just broadcast a stream, we turned on what was happening. But this has propelled us to embrace and start investing in an online campus that we know is part of our reopening strategy, which we’re going to talk about in a little bit, because people are still going to choose that option.

Matthew Robinson:

And to be able to have a campus pastor and host who’s broadcasting from that area, as we’re developing content and not having to have our productions team tear down and reset up stuff with every shoot, having a space like this, that we’re repurposing and reimagining, casting very quick vision for it and telling the people who had ties to it, we need your support. They’ve given it, which has been great. Even if they hadn’t, I think we still would have moved forward.

Matthew Robinson:

Because our mindset is, what do we need to prepare now? Our campus is dead. We’re trying to make some structural moves that we three months ago, probably would have thought this would have taken another decade to get to.

Doug Parks:

That’s good, man. Hey, I’m going to do a quick hand raise survey. So how many of you right now in your plan will have a different digital worship service than what’s in the main auditorium or sanctuary, the physical location right now? How many of you are thinking that way? Four or five, six. Okay. I think that is the biggest question I am hearing like in our church is, we can’t go back, the digital experience isn’t the same as just streaming what was happening on the stage.

Doug Parks:

I’m going to move to piston two, which is life changing relationships. It’s your small group, Zoom groups right now. And Bob, do you want to just talk about you guys’ frame, you tried to simplify the frame for leaders to start some conversations. Can you talk about that for just a minute?

Bob Miller:

Sure. Content is really not an issue. We have so much content available. We’re even seeing a lot of volunteer leaders come up with their content, which has been great. So we wanted to simplify a process where they could, even in discipleship strategy, no matter what age group, no matter how small the group, even if as a family, we could all still be on the same page.

Bob Miller:

So just three simple things, reading, reflecting and rejoicing. And that’s our model. So read, it can be a short passage, it can be a long chapter. It could be even something that is an addition to Scripture, reflecting or asking the key questions. What’s it saying about God? What’s it saying about God as it relates to me? What’s it saying as it relates to me and my personal growth? How it relates to me and my family, me and my community, and me and my one. So asking those questions, they’re all introspective. It brings up some good discussion.

Bob Miller:

And then the rejoicing part is just a combination of, again, giving thanks, praying, surrendering, telling God what he’s done in my life, I appreciate it. We’re trying to use that last part and frame it, that when you come to God with prayer on Thanksgiving, that piece of God comes and it guards your hearts and your minds. It guards how you feel, how you think.

Doug Parks:

That’s good, man. Again, we’ve been saying this since the beginning, simplify, simplify, simplify. The more you can simplify structures and frames for people that they could say, I can do that on my own, the better, right?

Doug Parks:

So I’m going to go to piston three, which is about surrendered living. It’s the giving of our time, our money and our talents. And so Ben, I’m bring this up because it’s pretty staggering. You guys have converted your church from 40% online giving to 80%. Tell us how to do that.

Ben Coleman:

Pray. So we have before the coronavirus season hit, we had 50% of our regular givers or even 50% of our gifts in general, were given in the bucket or the plate on Sunday morning in the service as it passed. And so when we went to online only, the first week or two, we were definitely lagging behind with our giving.

Ben Coleman:

And the best thing that I can say that really, really helped us was just communicate, communicate, communicate. And we did a good job. Our pastor did a fantastic job in his communication to church members through email, and also during the services, just letting the church know that God is providing, that we’re still paying our bills. He did a good job of just calling out the reality of, we know that we have 50% of the people that normally give on Sundays that can’t do that right now. And we want to let you continue to be able to do that.

Ben Coleman:

And so a lot of it was just training them to know how to give all online. Also, communicating it through our connect groups or small group ministry, letting our leaders know where we were financially. And when we shared that percentage with a lot of the people in our church of how many were not giving online, I think it was a surprise to a lot of our lay leaders, and they started communicating it to different people and making it easier to give online.

Ben Coleman:

One of the other things that our team did that I’ll just applaud them for is they went back through and looked at, how many clicks does it take for somebody to give online right now? And is there anything that we can do to reduce the number of clicks from the link that we’re giving them to the time that they’ve actually given?

Ben Coleman:

And they did, they reduced it by a couple different clicks, so that when people go to that link that we’re promoting, it’s a lot faster and even easier than it was before. So it didn’t happen overnight, but over about four to five weeks we’ve seen us go from 40% online gifts to 80% online gifts.

Doug Parks:

And my neighbor across the street, I was talking to him last night and one of his good friends is in Houston where you are, and he has tripled his income. He’s a Peloton salesman. Tripled the income, staggering, man.

Doug Parks:

All right, Matthew, talk about for a minute, you guys are starting to regionalize the marrying up of needs, those who can help with needs and helping with needs. Talk about that. And then also, you guys have really done an advanced job, a lot of work done before COVID-19 hit, but with Walmart and a partnership. So if you just talk, just briefly about those couple of things.

Matthew Robinson:

Absolutely. From ideas that we got from a call like this one from the front lines, we developed and I want to help and I need help area on our website. But we had no forethought of going through and looking at… we’re a very regional church. Part of our existing home group strategy is based on quadrants of Central Florida, of matching up what the needs were with the need meters, so that we could have further connection with people in neighborhoods and apartment complexes that we know where they exist.

Matthew Robinson:

So it was just one of those aha moments for us of thinking through, okay, let’s use this opportunity for part of the community that we’re trying to develop on the back in there. We’ve had ongoing relationship with Walmart, and given whatever anyone’s opinions may be about the corporation, we found that they’ve been unbelievably generous and desirous to be able to partner with the community in many ways. We have access to people they would love to help that they just don’t know of.

Matthew Robinson:

So we approached some of our leaders, who we know are involved at Walmart, with ideas on helping to provide the area right around our church is from some of the most lowest socioeconomic status in Central Florida, of what we might be able to do just to make sure they had stuff if we did a food drive in stock. And beginning conversation naturally with them with that, led them to say we want to help you with this. We will go ahead and order and make sure on a list, we can provide for you to give your people, to be able to shop at any other store or even our own and come to nine of our different parking lots to set up, so that people can drop off there.

Matthew Robinson:

They got excited about it, because they were also looking for a way for their associates to be able to go and serve. And having conversations of not just how can we use this big corporation, but how can we partner with them? And how can we be able to provide something that they’ll get excited about, as well as our people being able to go to their neighborhood Walmart and pick up these groceries and then drop off, has been a really rich series of conversations for us, and we know is going to be a great result, we’re doing that this Saturday at nine different Walmarts around the Central Florida region.

Doug Parks:

That’s awesome, man. That is incredible.

Doug Parks:

Hey, I’m going to call an audible before I get to the re-open, because for Matthew and Jill, if you’re able to jump in, I know you’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now. In the live chat over here, you’re both, it seems like you’ve cracked the code on some of the connection stuff out of the service.

Doug Parks:

I’ve heard many people, including my own church try Zoom rooms and after parties and it didn’t work. So what are you guys, if you have something that’s different, can you share what that is of what changed? Matty, you said you had 85 two weeks ago, and 120 that stayed on Zoom after. Jill, you had a big number too, like 131 people attend. So can you tell us what you’re doing differently that’s making that happen?

Matthew Robinson:

Go ahead, Jill.

Jill Gille:

Okay, so I apologize for not showing my self here, I’m in the middle of a home move. So trust me, this is a better picture.

Jill Gille:

But I just have to give our team a lot of credit. Rather than starting this immediately into this whole COVID-19 situation, we stopped and said, let’s take time to do it as best as we can. So we just launched last weekend, and it’s been a couple months into this season.

Jill Gille:

So I think that really served us well, because the team really got to rally together and figure out how to make it smooth and keep the clunkiness out and keep people engaged. Went into the studio, recorded some new teaching videos, we didn’t just take exactly what we did in the old days, so to speak, in a room where everybody’s together. We modified the content a little bit.

Jill Gille:

Not so much to the actual content in the guts of what we do, but just the length and then, of course, taking out language that would turn them off, because they’re not in a room together. And then actually one of our interns, he is managing all the technology behind the scenes. So when it’s time to roll a video, he’s doing that. And then when it’s time…

Jill Gille:

He’s analyzing who’s on also, and he’s starting to behind the scenes, put them into groups. And so when it’s time to go into a group discussion, which used to be roundtables, he’s already taken the names and he’s put them into groups. And so then when our host says, okay, let’s go into a group discussion on this, he activates that, each person gets an invite to go into a group off of the main Zoom call.

Jill Gille:

And then you’re in this group now with these people and you’re having this discussion and there’s a host for each of those groups. And then they go, okay, let’s all come back together and then they bring us all back together into… and we do the gallery look on Zoom. So again, we’re one week into it, but we’re excited about it and Matthew’s two weeks into it, so maybe he can talk about it.

Doug Parks:

Yeah, just real quick, Jill. So that’s great getting the structure once they’re there. How did you get them out of the service into that thing?

Jill Gille:

We have different hosts throughout the service. Like a lot of you guys, we’re doing stuff pre-service during the service and then at the end, and we’re using our campus pastors and just other people, which has been a great opportunity for us to see potential leaders and speakers. We’re reaching out to all kinds of, our staff and finding, wow, they’re really good on camera or they do a great job. We would not have gotten that opportunity to see them in that situation.

Jill Gille:

So we’re just doing the invite to, hey, hang with us afterwards. We do have the same language we’ve done in the past that we really feel like God’s got a plan for you. And we have a really simple way for you to experience that and we talk about as an experience, it’s not a class or anything like that. So we just really encourage people to stay on and click on our Zoom invite.

Doug Parks:

That’s good. Hey, Matthew, first, tell us how, because you guys have been trying this for weeks, how did you get people to get in there first? And then we’ll talk about the mechanics once you’re in.

Matthew Robinson:

The first two weeks we did this and it was terrible. We had three people the first week, one person the second week. That was the first two weeks that we went online. And way quicker than we ever would have done before, we just said, we don’t have this figured out, we stopped. So we paused for five weeks, we started back again, two weeks ago, we had 85 people and then 120.

Matthew Robinson:

The pivot that we made was saying, if you haven’t done this before, so we didn’t want repeat people and they weren’t, we want you to join us. And then we actually on our stream broadcast what the Zoom looked like, who the hosts were. By that point in time, our senior pastor had gone over to a computer, so you could see it there.

Matthew Robinson:

And we think part of that was just taking this curtain off that this isn’t crazy, like you’re not going to go see the goat be sacrificed back in this Zoom room here. And we said join us to continue over the course of the next few minutes, because the stream is going to end. I think that visual and the prompt right there of actually saying you’ve got to make the change, and we made it real quick, one click just on every platform or the host posted a link, depending on the platform, they transitioned over.

Matthew Robinson:

So we’re not doing it this week with Mother’s Day, just because it’s Mother’s Day. We don’t want mom to have to compete. But we’re planning on trying again the following.

Doug Parks:

Smart, man. And then the mechanics, once you’re in there, how long is it? What are you doing while you’re in there? What are you trying to get them to next?

Matthew Robinson:

Yeah, we’ve capped it at 15 minutes and we’re saying that, so they are not knowing it’s going on forever. We are pushing too with the next part in our engagement pathway is, two weeks from now, what we call our discover experience, which has been 101, 201, 301, all that scrapped out. 45 minutes on a Sunday night or Wednesday night, the same thing, where you’re going to hear from people who have taken their next step in their spiritual journey, and we’re going to help you identify what that step is.

Doug Parks:

That’s great, man. Let us know how it goes. Can’t wait to hear. Good job, guys, innovating around that.

Doug Parks:

Okay, I’m going to ask some questions around reopening. And the place I want to start first is just thinking framework. How you’re thinking about reopening, and I want to remind us that we have churches all over the spectrum who are going to be watching this from… They’re getting prepared to have services right now in a week or two, to others who may not have services until 2021.

Doug Parks:

So, Jeff, Tash, if you’ll throw up on the screen, Rush Creek just went live with this in Dallas to their entire church. Could you just walk us through how the phasing plan, how you guys are thinking about it? And Tash, if you’ll scroll through as he’s talking, that’d be great.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

Sure, so this is a four phase plan that we rolled out to our church this week. We’ve been putting this together for the last several weeks. And we supported the decisions here with a survey that we did for the entire congregation, just to give us some clarity on not just what we thought, but what our congregation was amenable to.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

And so we put this together, obviously, the first phase of this is really just status quo. And we wanted to do this in a way that was logical. And so phase one is really where we are right now, between the time that we started online in March to the end of this month.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

Now, Texas is at a 25% capacity rule moving to 50%, possibly in a week or two. And so we are essentially pushing ourselves beyond Memorial Day, as to when we would start. And then so phase two would be our first attempt at re-gathering. And we have laid it out in this format, all the different aspects we wanted our congregation to know about.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

We will be doing registrations as part of this through an online tool. We will only be taking 85% registrations, up to 50% of the capacity of the worship center. So we’re removing middle rows. So every other row, and there has to be two seats between each family, for example. And so we’re only taking reservations up to 85%. Because we know that there’ll be people that will show up that did not reserve, so we’re trying to maintain the numbers.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

We’re dedicating entrances. We’re trying to put directional signage in place that will help people to manage the flow. We will not have children’s ministry, we will have family services at each campus. We have six campuses. So each one looks a little bit different as far as how it’s laid out, how big the worship center is. So each one is a little bit different but we’re trying to follow the same general guidelines in phase two.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

We will be doing cleaning between each service. We’re gathering some volunteers to help us with that, training them. That’s exactly what we want them to do between each service.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

And then of course, phase three is more of a TBD at this point. We’re waiting on the state of Texas to determine what next steps might be, following the end of this month. And then we will add the rest of the details needed in phase three, and then phase four would be back to normal.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

So that’s essentially how we laid it out and sent that out this week to our church. I’ve gotten several texts already this week, just thanking us for thinking through this prayerfully. And even though it’s not exactly what we would like, we would like to just get back to normal, but it’s not going to be that way. I think we’ve gotten good feedback on it so far, it’s been clear. We had one little issue that wasn’t quite clear. And we made the change on that yesterday. I think cleared that up.

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

So far, this is the way we’ve rolled it out. We’ve gotten good feedback.

Doug Parks:

That’s great. And then Tasha will throw the link to your guy’s website over in the chat, so people can check it out. Just real quick, what mechanically, how are you doing the reservations?

Jeff Kirkpatrick:

We’re using… Sorry, I thought we were going to use our database, but we’re not, we’re going to use Brushfire.

Doug Parks:

Brushfire. Okay. So, Ben, hey, talk about, you have some thoughts, you guys have some thoughts around… Everybody’s cautious about how quickly we reopen. And give some thinking around why you guys are saying we’re not going to follow the business guidelines, we’re actually going to have a stricter guideline around it, and talk through that.

Doug Parks:

And then also talk about how you guys are using doctors and lawyers to help you with thinking on reopening.

Ben Coleman:

Yeah, so I’ll actually start with that one, because a lot of the first question was an overflow of it. But we have, in Houston, the medical community is huge, and we’ve got a lot of brilliant and awesome doctors and medical professionals in our church.

Ben Coleman:

And so one of the things our lead pastor did was as he was just working through building our plan, he started with gathering, okay, what’s the executive team opinion about this? Then, what’s the staff team opinion about this? What’s the deacon;s opinion about this? He went in concentric circles.

Ben Coleman:

We did a church wide survey, that we’re still collecting some of that information. But the more we went out and getting different people’s opinion about what our re-gathering needed to look like, a plan started becoming pretty clear as to what we needed to do.

Ben Coleman:

So then we put together a team of some of the executive staff and then three doctors and three lawyers that were members of the church and very invested, and we just kind of walked through, here’s the rough draft of our plan, here’s what we’re thinking. Help shoot some holes in this, either from a medical perspective or from a legal perspective, to make sure that we’re wise in how we’re doing this.

Ben Coleman:

And the question our pastor asked was, is there anything you know from a legal perspective or a medical perspective that we don’t know, that would change the way that we’re looking at our reopening plans? And so that was a really, really fruitful conversation. I imagine there’ll be more conversations with that same team going forward.

Ben Coleman:

But out of that, what we realized was, even though and I think you said it, or somebody else said it earlier that Texas is definitely a little farther ahead of the curve than some other states in how soon churches are returning. We’ve got permission from our governor to return however we want. He’s encouraging us to follow a lot of the business and social distancing guidelines, but not requiring us by law.

Ben Coleman:

And so I know a few churches that are looking at it and saying, okay, businesses have to be at 50% capacity. So we’re going to be at 50% capacity. But one of the things that a few of the doctors pointed out is that even if you sit every other row to get to 50% capacity, you’re still shoulder to shoulder and you’re not six feet apart from the left and the right.

Ben Coleman:

So we really realized that you can be at 50% capacity in a restaurant or a hair salon or something like that, and be following all the social distancing guidelines, but you can’t do it in a church. And so one of our doctors told us, if you can’t have 36 square feet space between you and your family, then you shouldn’t do the ministry programming. And so he just said you need six feet on all sides.

Ben Coleman:

And so we significantly reduced the capacity or the number of people that we’re trying to fit into each of our services going forward, lower than what the state is going to be allowing us, because we’re looking at this more from, we’ve got to follow the social distancing guidelines, rather than what businesses are allowed to do.

Doug Parks:

That’s helpful, Ben. And that’s spot on, man, that we’ve gotten lumped in with a business. And we probably need to be thinking more like arenas, right? And they’re not opening arenas or anything like that. In Vegas, we’re getting to learn real quickly here, because the casinos are ramping to open with all this in place here in a few weeks.

Doug Parks:

Okay, good. I’m going to skip over a couple things. Matthew, I did want you to talk, because kids and students is universal best practice. I think everybody’s pretty much here. We’re not really doing kids’ meetups, student meetups until schools are back in session. But you guys are exploring some online kids’ stuff. Can you talk just for a few minutes about that?

Matthew Robinson:

We I think like many other churches who are represented here, who may be watching, had transitioned our children’s programming to being online, using videos from our curriculum provider, filming some hosts. Our initial thought, oh, this is a short term fix.

Matthew Robinson:

But what we had a moment with in the past two weeks was recognizing, just as we are thinking about our online campus with adults for the long term, what are we providing for their children as they say at home? We’ve gotten lots of feedback, have surveyed our congregation too, and most of them have said even if I come back, I’m not bringing my kids or checking them in until we feel more comfortable down the line.

Matthew Robinson:

So we’ve recognized there is an opportunity for us to be able to continue to reach those children and their families with the online kids programming continued. So that’s a mix for us of worship videos they’re watching with Bible Devotional content. And then for the elementary grades, we have chosen to wait until school gets out, because we feel parents are inundated with their kids’ classroom Zoom and everything. But integrating after that point over the summer, summer meetups on Zoom for elementary students.

Doug Parks:

That’s good, man. I wondered if the evolution on the digital service is going to be a combined family service type model, as opposed to a siloed approach that we’ve had physically. But anyway, thank you for that.

Doug Parks:

So the last thing we’re going to do here is just talk a little bit about timing. I asked Matt Wright if he would just share a little as they’ve gotten word from the governor in Illinois that’s not as eager to open as the rest of us. So Matt, share what the governor has told you guys and emotionally how you’re processing, maybe a little bit and we can have therapy together. And then if you have any emerging strategies that are starting to take hold, but may not be yet.

Matt Wright:

I don’t have any good emerging strategies here, but I’m looking at some of these other reopening plans with a little bit of jealousy. The Illinois governor a couple of days ago rolled out the five phase plan for what Illinois might look like to reopen.

Matt Wright:

And he specifically said that events that are over 50, including churches and concerts, won’t be gathering until there is a vaccine, a vaccine or an effective treatment. And so we all know that could be months, that could be a year from now. It could change, there’s all kinds of things that could change that we see.

Matt Wright:

But maybe if you are a church that’s in one of those places, where that is the direction that your local government is going, your staff may be feeling what our staff is feeling. I’m a pretty resilient guy, and I got that report and it was like, oh, man, it was just a punch to the gut.

Matt Wright:

And talking to our worship teams and just talking to our teams in general when they were thinking, okay, if I could just hang on to this for another month, maybe I could just hang on to this for I was six weeks and then looking at this as something that could last many more months, they went very rapidly from resiliency to discouragement, and then even this close to despair. And so right now, I think one of the big things as leaders that we’re trying to do with our staff teams is just to remind us all, hey, to use a crass word, we’re not in the business of church services. That’s not what we do. We don’t just try to figure out how do we put on church services.

Matt Wright:

We are doing this because we want in Chicagoland to make as many disciples as possible. We want to reach as many people and help form them into Christ’s likeness as possible. And we don’t have to be able to gather by hundreds and thousands in a room, in order to do that.

Matt Wright:

So trying as quickly as possible to just, let’s name the discouragement here and let’s get on the solution side. So how do we have to pivot? How can things look differently?

Matt Wright:

I can tell you, for me personally, it feels like the target keeps on changing, and at some point, the constant speculation on when we’re going to be gathering again isn’t super helpful. And so it’s almost like rather than trying to develop all kinds of one year strategies that might shift every couple of weeks, I’m moving to the place of saying, okay, what are the six month strategies that we can develop? What are the four month strategies that we can develop? And to try and close that timeframe just a little bit on some of those things.

Matt Wright:

So that’s where we are, man.

Doug Parks:

Matt, I’m sorry. Thank you for sharing, because I know it’s new news, man. I think your piece is right, we’ve been saying again from the beginning, you need to grieve it, but then this is an opportunity to innovate and learn like crazy. And so praying for you guys, that you’re able to turn that corner in a healthy way.

Doug Parks:

Hey, last thing I’m going to do before I hand to Bart here, I believe one of the best practices standards as you move toward reopen, is to begin surveying your people. It’s not just a mix of what your government is telling you.

Doug Parks:

But actually, one of the things we’ve been talking about since the beginning in this digital expression of the church, we have to promote way more engagement and two-way communication and way less pipeline one-way. And so I think this surveying piece that several of you’re doing, but Matthew, I just wanted to give you a chance. Well, first Matthew, talk about your task force, who’s on the team and why they’re there that helped you guys formulate your survey.

Matthew Robinson:

Yeah, we had heard obviously of the federal task force that the President assembled and then our state governor and then our local team. And we have a great, rich tradition at First Baptist Orlando of having congregational input and lay leaders as part of our team.

Matthew Robinson:

We recognize the benefit for a large regional church that others are looking to, and our staff not having all of the legal or medical background and all of this, we know how to execute and develop plans for our campus. We needed to bring in voices and we established what we’re calling our together again task force. It’s not that we’re reopening, we’ve never closed, but we’re coming together again one day.

Matthew Robinson:

And with that, we invited lay leaders who for us are able to give input from where they are expertise wise or where they are in the industry. We’ve got medical doctors, we’ve got theme park executives, we’ve got moms who are represented in the team as well. But they’re also able for us to serve as advocates, who are individuals who got influence in their circles to say, the voice that I got to lend, I’ve been a part of this and give insight into what everyone else was doing or thinking.

Matthew Robinson:

At an individual level though, we also conducted a survey this past weekend, the network of churches that we’re a part of what Southern Baptist, one of our entities, Lifeway, helped provide a resource for a basic survey to gauge your congregation’s thoughts on reopening and what was going on. We read that, I’m a recovering college mathematics professor, data and analytics are all integrated. I recognized part of this survey is, we had experts in our church who do survey and analytics for theme parks. We gave them the survey and said, how can we improve this?

Matthew Robinson:

And they helped us formulate it in Disney style, which we rolled out. We had over 3,200 responses this past weekend to tie to an idea Ben said. We sent texts, we really want you to do this. Our senior pastor said that, text survey to our short code. We’re not going to send it to you now because we want you to listen. But as soon as the service ended, we hit send on all of that to almost 2,000 numbers who had texted in over the course of that 30 minute period, and got incredibly rich feedback that has helped our people know, one, we’re taking this seriously, two, we are thinking about it, stop asking us. We are thinking about this, it’s complex.

Matthew Robinson:

And it’s also allowed us to seed what we think and our communication strategy eventually is going to be, what some of the precautions we are. If you’ve read, hey, we may take the temperature of your children, are you against that? And then come down the line six months that’s happening, we’ve established a baseline for what you might experience at some point. So there’s lots of wins in that, namely making people feel like they’re a part of it and they’ve got a voice.

Doug Parks:

Tash, if you’ll throw the chart up there, the calendar, but it’s like the old dilemma. Whenever you involve volunteers, it creates complexity, so you got to administrate it well. I just love that you’ve laid out, like in Gantt chart style, man, I’m geeking out over here.

Matthew Robinson:

We’ve got a staff side, a non-staff side. How are they feeding each other? We also know that over the course of the next few weeks, we want to accomplish this thorough review and plan. As Matt Wright said, we’re looking at this in the short term, not what’s our 18 month strategy. But how do we get there, so that we can provide clarity?

Doug Parks:

Yeah, and you may not have an answer to this, one or two things that either surprised you or you’re encouraged by that came back out of the survey?

Matthew Robinson:

Two thirds of our people said they had no problem with any of the precautions we were considering. That shows us they trust us. I think that also shows us they expect us to be taking these kind of precautions.

Matthew Robinson:

We also asked a question of, have you been impacted financially? Yes, positively, yes, negatively or no, not at all. About 40% of our people said they’d been impacted negatively. And while there’s not a direct correlation, our giving is off by about 40% as well. That’s helping us develop strategies for, what do we do with the home foreclosures that are coming, with the mortgages and the debts that people are going to be behind on? How is a next level of just financial stewardship going to have to take place in our church on the other side of this too?

Doug Parks:

Yeah, we’re in Vegas. We’re similar. We’re starting, they’ve called it the storm, starting to strategize for like September, October, the impending what’s going to happen with the workforce? The maths is easy here, if a casino that used to be running at 95% occupancy can now only run at 30% occupancy, you need that many less workers and the ripple just keeps going all the way down.

Doug Parks:

And so we’re trying to get out ahead of that. What are the needs going to be of the community out there? Great job on the survey. So again, we would emphasize, I think that’s a best practice and recommend everyone certainly engage that.

Doug Parks:

Last thing I’m going to share Bart, and then hand it to you is, I heard this out of one of our IC coaches in Illinois, Melissa Sandel. They are collaborating across the churches in Springfield whoever will, so that they have a re-open together. We don’t get this real, well, that church opened three weeks early and that church open really late. And so I don’t know how much you can do that. I know in Springfield, it’s actually aligned the churches a lot more and brought them together.

Doug Parks:

Bart, you want to wrap us up, do you have any last thoughts?

Bart Rendel:

Well, on the survey thing real fast, if you guys have seen the Gloo and Barna survey, I just want to mention, we are talking to those guys about how to use that maybe for ChurchOS, Intentional Churches purposes. We’re one of the networks that are on there. If you are using it, attach yourself to our network, for sure.

Bart Rendel:

But it does allow customization. If you had a task force that, and you can survey your community, you can survey it and get to know your people, A/B to your community, and then pastoral leadership survey. And you can customize those. So if you did have a task force, you literally can create a customized section for your church to then survey its people.

Bart Rendel:

So they’ve got the survey engine built, that can serve you guys but you would need to engage it, and we’re thinking about maybe coaching up our churches on how to use that tool. The way I see it is, they’ve built an incredible survey engine. And we trust those guys, they’re good guys, can we figure out how to use that survey with the customization elements to serve our churches?

Bart Rendel:

So just something we’ll be looking into, and you can go ahead and look into it if you want. Might save you the trouble of having to figure out the operational functionality of it, because they’ve already got that built out. So just thought of that when you guys were talking.

Bart Rendel:

My final word would be something I would say that I said a couple video calls back, and akin to what Matt was talking about. And that is, it’s just time to take care of ourselves more than ever. I don’t know how we can ever expect to take care of our team and our leaders if we’re not taking care of ourselves.

Bart Rendel:

So just trying to practice what I preach there. I talked about taking up, learning a song or two on the guitar. I’ve got my first tee time booked in six months on Saturday, because our golf courses are open. So that’s on my replenishment cycle. I know it’s going to be helpful and went to the driving range and hit some balls, which we can do here. Some states you can or can’t. Little things like that.

Bart Rendel:

I never have taken walks in my life. In fact, I would make fun of people who take walks. So now I’m like, I got to take a break from Zoom and just go take a walk. And it’s definitely a game changer, just getting some fresh air and hanging out with Kat and talking.

Bart Rendel:

So whatever we can do to stay filled up is just my encouragement. If you know life planning, the replenishment cycle, what is your replenishment cycle? What keeps your tank full? And then be proactive about it.

Bart Rendel:

I think I just heard this last week of more pain on teams and from leaders that I’ve heard yet, and it’s getting real. So another aspect would be, who could we proactively, Kat and I were talking about this, making a list. She’s done it, and just starting to reach out to friends proactively. Could we do that with our pastor friends and associates, our team?

Bart Rendel:

I think it’s time, high time if we’ve not done it to start doing it, because we’re not through this yet. Like Matt said, the blows are really going to keep coming. So we can talk about being proactive and innovative, but you got to have the energy for it. And we have to name the discouragement and go after it, I think is what the quote was. And we got to do that in our own lives too.

Bart Rendel:

So let me pray for us as we end. Father God, just incredible that we get to come together and I wish many, many more could participate. Because I think just being on a call, seeing faces and names, knowing that we’re not alone through this is so encouraging and helpful.

Bart Rendel:

So for those that are on the call, and those that are watching later, just help us to be filled up and close to you and filled with your spirit and listening and looking for wisdom from you. But then being very proactive, also, in taking care of ourselves. The devil wants to use all of this for bad, bad purposes. But we know you’ve promised, clearly, that you can and you will use this for your purposes.

Bart Rendel:

Man, what a privilege to be instruments to that end and as you move and we see people being changed, lives being impacted in this new day, we’re going to give you all the glory. And it’s your name I pray. Amen.

Doug Parks:

Amen. Thanks, everybody.

Intentional Churches

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