Cell Group Leaders and Co-Leaders,
While we weren’t able to meet together physically this past Sunday, the church was still worshiping! In fact, I believe the adjustments we’ll need to make over these next several weeks will remind us that the church isn’t just a building, we’re a family. Families support each other whether they are able to gather together or not.
Pastor Pat, on behalf of our Elders, just sent out a communication addressing some of the details of the way our church will be responding to Covid-19 over the next several weeks. Please read that note from Pastor if you haven’t already done so. To summarize, we are suspending all church sponsored services, activities, and group gatherings larger than ten people until at least Monday, April 13th.
We are asking that Cell Groups do not physically meet together until further notice, but this doesn’t mean that your group can’t still share life. In fact, the care, connections, and communication already provided through our Cell Groups will continue to serve as the backbone of our Saylorville community during this period, even though we are unable to meet on Sundays or in our weekly Cell Group gatherings. As leaders and co-leaders, you serve in critical roles. Your group will need an extra dose of shepherding, and extra layer of care, and perhaps an extra level of creativity.
Here are some ways your group can still experience life change together:
Meet together virtually using technology. We’re asking that Cell Groups gather online rather than face-to-face during this time. Groups can still share prayer requests, listen to great worship songs, or even discuss the Sunday message together as you would if you were face-to-face. We’ll continue to livestream Sunday messages, provide sermon questions, and even add some additional content and resources throughout the week. Here are a few tools you can use to continue to meet virtually with your group:
- FaceTime Video Chat
- For groups using only Apple devices.
- Limit of 32 video devices at a time.
- Facebook Messenger Video Chat
- Must download the Facebook Messenger app.
- Limit of 50 video devices at a time.
- Google Hangout Video Chat
- Must download the Google Hangout app.
- Limit of 10 video devices at a time.
- Skype Video Chat
- Must download the Skype app.
- Limit of 50 video devices at a time.
Serve your group and others. Use this opportunity to meet the needs of others. Offer encouragement to those who might be struggling emotionally during this difficult time. Pay careful attention to the needs of the senior saints in your group, or those with young children. Give special care and help to those with previous anxiety, or chronic underlying health concerns. Take a few extra minutes each week to call, or stop by the homes of those in your group to check in. Is there a need that you Cell Group can help with? Maybe a neighbor ran out of toilet paper, could use a babysitter, or is running low on groceries. How can your Cell Group show them Jesus?
Continue to be hospitable. Although you won’t be meeting face-to-face with your whole group, you could consider meeting with two or three different people each week in your home, in their home, or even at a public place like a local park.
Invite others into the community. It’s possible that you might have one or two people ask to join your group in the next few weeks. Since Cell Groups are the primary way our Saylorville family will feel connected, those who aren’t in groups are at risk of feeling even more isolated. If someone does ask about joining your group, let our staff know and we’ll do whatever we can to get them connected.
Friends, this is a time for faith, not fear. I’m so grateful to each of you. Someone asked me this weekend if we needed to make major adjustments to our Cell Group ministry to accommodate changes caused by the virus. I responded, “Not really. Our leaders already do a great job, and they’ll continue to be amazing.”
As always, please keep me in the loop on needs, blessings, stories, or struggles you may be experiencing. Thanks for LOVING and LEADING our Saylorville family. Let’s go church!