With the Coronavirus pandemic limiting the ability to hold worship services, Oklahoma Baptist churches across the state got creative in offering ways to participate in worship and gathering on Sunday, March 22.
From a drive-up worship service at Elmore City to online livestreaming services at churches throughout Oklahoma, the Gospel was advanced today.
Elmore City, First called its service “Drive up and worship.” The church had a platform set up in the parking lot, with microphones and a sound system in place, as individuals and families gathered in their cars at the church.
“This ‘Drive up and worship’ is a way to gather while staying in compliance with health officials’ recommendations,” Pastor Danny Reed said. “It’s a way we have corporate worship for our church family, as well as for people who do not have Internet or computer capabilities.” The church also livestreamed its service online for any who could not attend, or for non-members.
Many churches—large or smaller in attendance—used online tools like Facebook Live to stream services. Most services included music, preaching and a time of praying for relief to the Coronavirus situation, as well as presented ways to give online. Many churches organized small group of Sunday School meet-ups through technology like Zoom.
The responses to online offerings were overwhelmingly positive. Harry Black, director of missions in Capital Association said on Facebook, “I was able to attend four church services this morning (online) and do a wellness check on several neighbors during an intermission! Of course I miss worshiping corporately with a family of faith ‘live’ but this has been a great Sunday morning.”
Some churches who streamed online experienced some technical difficulties. Brad Graves, pastor of Ada, First, had recorded his sermon earlier in the week. When technical difficulties with Facebook arose during one of the morning services, he said, “I grabbed my phone and preached from my couch (at home). Had a couple hundred people jump online.” He added, “The YouTube and ChurchWebsite were still working fine.”
In the days leading up to Sunday, practical helps and tips to pastors and churches were offered at the convention’s web hub www.OklahomaBaptists.org/Coronavirus-Response.
Though it is uncertain how many weeks churches will be unable to meet in person for worship services, the importance of finding creative ways to worship and connect online in this time frame will make a huge difference, as Hance Dilbeck, Oklahoma Baptists’ executive director-treasurer, recommended.
Dilbeck expressed a prayer on Twitter. “My prayer for Oklahoma Baptist churches today. Exodus 33:18. ‘Then Moses said, ‘Please, let me see Your glory.’ Please LORD, let us see Your glory today,’” he said.
To share how you or you church participated in worship on Sunday, March 22, share it with The Baptist Messenger on our Facebook page.