On Friday, March 13 we got a call from the school district telling us that the school was shut down to all outside groups until further notice. That gave us a day and a half to figure out what to do with the service for March 15. We had not considered online services and for myself I would have no idea where to start. I am a digital immigrant and so often am lost in the digital world.
So we got our staff together and said what do we do? Both Stanton Petersen and Carey Keavy thought we could do something simple on Facebook Live. So, it was either that or cancel. We decided to try it, even though I didn’t have much hope anyone would actually tune in.
So with the help of Mike Marshall, (Carey’s fiancé) we jumped into Facebook Live service. And given the short notice and the limited resources we actually pulled it off and people watched. In fact Stanton’s mom from South Africa watched and immediately called him Sunday afternoon and told him he needed a haircut.
That started a continual progressive improvement each Sunday as we got new resources and equipment. Carrie Quigg with Stanton’s help even put together a children’s time that aired before the adult service. It went great and people from all over watched and were encouraged.
To my surprise we didn’t only have our community watching, but as we looked at the number of views throughout the week it has constantly around the 500-600 range. So we were actually reaching more people than we even had at an in-person service. I was amazed, and quickly became convinced that we had to continue with online services no matter what happened in the future.
What was even more amazing than the response of our online services, was how our staff changed so rapidly and pivoted to doing online services. Their attitude and willingness to serve and try new things were remarkable. They carried the load of improving what we do from a technology perspective, because I was absolutely no help to them at all. They just told me when to speak and when to be quiet and I did as they said!
In this COVID-19 age, change and pivoting are continuing to happen. We had to change to do outdoor services while figuring out how to continue doing the online services. We had problems to solve and obstacles to overcome, but in all of this our staff has been so willing to adjust and change and try new things. I deeply appreciate their abilities in this area but value even more highly their attitudes in working together.
So thank you to Carey Keavy, Mike Marshall, Stanton Petersen, Carrie Quigg, Kimberly Moorse and Linsey Zell. It is my pleasure to work with you!