1) I decided that an old dog (me) can learn new tricks if I want to keep being able to eat.
2) I decided that I am NOT going to ride the Coronavirus wave and, once this is all over, just go back to the way we always did church.
3) I decided to be proactive, going forward with the understanding / belief that we are entering into a new normal. So many things I have taken for granted as a pastor . . . are gone, either for the immediate time to come, or forever.
I'm watching as many webinars for pastors, as long as they make sense, that I can. . . unfortunately, some of them are all saying the same thing, and interviewing the same people. I have little time for that. The better webinars, in my opinion so far, include:
1) Those hosted by Fresh Expressions US. They have established free "think tanks" to share ideas on-line. The content of the webinars is quality, and I've been taking lots of notes.
2) Webinars about the CARES Act. Apparently, churches may qualify for payroll and utility payment help as a not-for-profit business. I want to learn as much as I can a about this, just in case.
It feels like I am taking a crash course with lots of trial and error regarding social platforms like Facebook Live and Zoom. This afternoon I am inviting a few friends and staff to join me on a trial run Zoom meeting so I won't embarrass myself too badly when we begin using Zoom weekly for church meetings and studies.
I've also learned that when I post anything on the Facebook pages of the two churches I serve, it needs to be good quality content. I'm learning to write out a few notes to follow, especially when videoing myself, so that I don't wander or chase rabbits, which I happen to be an expert at.
I'm also learning that you need to post daily! Yep, every single day. Articles for families, devotionals, video announcements and invitations, updates . . . as well as other things that I'm sure I will learn about in the very near future.
Finally, I have rediscovered the telephone and what it means to call people who DO NOT have the internet or a smart phone. I know it's a risk, but I've "given away" my phone number so that folks can call me. A text message will work for some people, but for those who are really lonely, especially those who have been told/ordered by their adult children to "stay inside," a hearing a live human voice means so much.
I am glad that I have, for many years, believed the concept of "L3", or Life-Long-Learning. What I am having to learn, just on a novice level . . . is a bit overwhelming.
Is all this painful . . . YES. Will it all be worth it. ABSOLUTELY!