The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world. It’s changed how we do business. Covid altered the educational system. The pandemic modified everything, including how we do church. Many are watching services online instead of coming in-person. This shift has caused a disconnect. Church leaders wonder how many will return to church when the pandemic is over.
It’s also exciting!
That’s right; it’s an electrifying time for believers in Jesus Christ! We have an opportunity to make a positive difference in our community if we would go back to the basics.
So, as I sat with The Harbor leadership teams, we collectively decided to NOT fall into the trap of negativity. Instead of complaining about what we couldn’t do, we decided it was time to look at what we can do and do it well. We came up with an action plan that everyone in the church could put into practice if they were at home watching the services online or attending the church in person.
We called it Hi3.
It’s about three simple ways of saying hello to the people in our community with the love of Jesus as we invite, influence and impact those in our sphere of influence.
First, we thought, despite the pandemic, we could invite people to church.
- We made invitation cards.
- We started to put out real estate signs again.
- We increased our presence on social media.
- We asked those who couldn’t come physically to the church to invite friends and family through email and social media.
Second, we thought we could influence others toward Christ by answering their faith questions. It says in 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” We produced online courses called Harbor U to train the Harbor people to help answer those tough questions. .
Third, we believed harbor people should follow Christ’s words in Matthew 20:28 that says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” We can impact others toward Christ by simply serving them through random acts of kindness. We challenged everyone to look for ways to help their neighbors, and they did!
I want to challenge you to join me and those on The Harbor Church leadership teams to give as many Hi3’s as you can. Covid has opened the door to spiritual conversations with your neighbors and family members about Jesus, forgiveness, and eternal life in heaven. Please go out and do it! Invite, influence, and impact those around that God has placed in your life. God will be pleased, and you will feel better!
David Towner is the author of Today Is My Favorite Day and has been the senior pastor of The Harbor Church in Odessa, Fl, for twenty-three years. He is married to his wife, Tonya. They have three beautiful girls and four awesome grandsons.