Digitizing church engagement has brought great opportunity, but it also presents unique challenges regarding the spiritual health of both church leaders and church members. Some church leaders have chosen to offer daily video devotions for their members. While a great blessing and a helpful tool, there are two cautions.

First, those producing content on a regular basis should keep the long haul in view. Church leaders should sustain, or even increase, the frequency of his or her own spiritual disciplines. If the only time a church leader is spending in spiritual disciplines is in preparation and delivery of content for church members, the well will surely run dry. The church leader must lead from the overflow of a deepening personal walk with Jesus.

Second, make sure to balance content provided by the church and encouraging a personal walk with God for your congregation. Members may be drinking from the wisdom of church leadership more than ever, but they may also be getting used to their church leadership digging the well and drawing the water for them every day. If spiritual health is to thrive through online platforms, our tools of engagement must encourage and teach church members to take responsibility for their own walk with the Lord.

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Meeting Current Needs

Are our devotional activities cultivating healthy rhythms of faith and practice in our people?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEAM-BASED EVALUATION & PLANNING:

  • My personal walk with the Lord, through daily spiritual rhythms, is currently:
      • [Struggling] 1—2—3—4—5 [Thriving]
  • We are effectively engaging our people regularly throughout the week (not just on Sunday mornings) through online platforms, calling their attention to the truths of Scripture and the ministry of the Holy Spirit:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • We are providing sufficient opportunities for our least technologically connected people to stay engaged and grow in their faith:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • Our devotionals and other weekday online engagements are encouraging and celebrating individual/private spiritual disciplines:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]
  • Even in the midst of such a difficult time, our people are growing and pressing deeper into their faith during the COVID-19 season:
      • [Strongly disagree] 1—2—3—4—5 [Strongly agree]

Review your answers to determine key areas of strength as well as those areas that need additional growth. Your responses may change week to week as you ramp up your regather phases, so it would be wise to revisit these questions often. Be sure to check out some of the resources linked below as well as on the sbtexas.com/covid19 site. In addition, email the SBTC staff who stands ready to assist any church that needs help or encouragement.

Assessing Developing Trends

Is our weekday content generating meaningful reflection and celebration of personal spiritual rhythms? How do we know?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEAM-BASED EVALUATION & PLANNING:

  • Right now, am I properly balancing “doing for God” and “being with God?” Am I developing a hunger for God and a satisfaction in him? Are my private spiritual disciplines being sidelined by my public acts of service?
  • What is the level of engagement from our membership on our weekday devotional posts? What about from non-members in the community?
  • Do the comments from our membership reveal that they may be becoming dependent on our content, or that our content is supplementary to their private devotional life?
  • Through phone calls, emails, text messages, and other offline engagements, what is the spiritual environment of our church body right now? Are we struggling spiritually, surviving spiritually, or thriving spiritually?

Planning Future Opportunities

In the future, how might we use weekday devotional content to encourage and celebrate private spiritual rhythms for our people?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR TEAM-BASED EVALUATION & PLANNING:

  • What is my personal plan for continued spiritual development? What goals do I have for my own Bible reading, prayer life, sacrificial giving, intentional evangelism, and personal worship practices?
  • When things look more “normal” for our church, how frequent will our daily online devotions become? Who will be in charge of developing, posting, and interacting with our weekday content online?
  • What are some creative ways we can get church members to interact and share their spiritual practices and celebrations through digital tools?
  • Do we have a clear pathway, with a well-developed strategy, for the spiritual growth of our people?
  • What tools might we use for measuring the spiritual health of our congregation as the months and years pass?

Strategize the Path Forward:

  • Write a short description (1-2 paragraphs) of what it looks like for a church member to be spiritually healthy.
  • Brainstorm ways the church can facilitate this process.
  • Develop a clear, concise pathway for the spiritual growth of your people.
  • Who is responsible for helping church members move forward in this pathway?
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of your strategy?
  • Set a specific date for a follow up discussion with your team 6 months from now.

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