Carl Miller, OPC church planter in New Braunfels, TX recently hosted a free webinar on “Grief & Perseverance in Suffering.” He did the same presentation twice at different times of day to accommodate peoples’ schedules. He used ZOOM which allowed him to give a presentation, including PowerPoint slides, and a Q&A after with those who attended. Carl chose the topic for obvious reasons and talked to his session and some other trusted friends about the topic and plans for the webinar and got encouraging input.
The intended audience was the congregation and any from the local community who would like to attend. Carl said about 10 people registered and 6 or 7 followed through and attended. Attendees included a couple people from the congregation, another 2 or 3 from the community, and a couple men from presbytery. Carl said feedback and discussion was encouraging. He also heard from several people who couldn’t attend but asked for a link to get the audio and notes on sermonaudio.
Carl thinks this was a useful event and he learned a number of things. He plans to do things like this going forward and sees this type of event as part of the outreach efforts at New Braunfels. He liked ZOOM and thought it worked well. He learned some technical things about virtual backgrounds and audio for the future. One takeaway is that he plans to invest in better audio and camera going forward. He used his webcam for this one, which got the job done, but thinks a little upgrade is needed for the future. He publicized this webinar on FB, NextDoor, and throughout the presbytery, but would like to expand those efforts the next time around.
This is another example of a pastor taking what’s more natural to him and applying it to the specific need of this time for outreach. Carl has taught in the past on depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and similar. So, during the quarantine he took that experience and turned it virtual. He took to ZOOM and learned as he went. Results may be modest in terms of numbers but a successful effort and it will make him even more comfortable and ready for the next time. Be encouraged, and maybe be inspired with your own idea.
(If interested here is a link to the audio and presentation slides: Carl Miller Webinar)