These Labs Learning blogs will support churches taking part in the Church of England's Everyday Faith, a discipleship campaign starting Sunday 12 January 2020 (Plough Sunday). Reflections and prayers to help you find and follow God in everyday life will be available through campaign emails, an app, social media, audio and a booklet from Church House Publishing.
A Church Near You, that many of you work so hard on keeping up to date, is an integral way that people are finding a church near them to attend a Sunday service or special occasion. Many of our church buildings are used for much more than services of worship. There is a range of services that many churches offer, like groups that help meet practical needs and activities that help build communities locally. Using digital channels to tell people about these services is vital. It lets people see how we are ‘doing’ church, but, there is so much more to tell about how we are ‘being the church’ Monday to Saturday, as well as Sunday.
So, how can we use our digital communications to connect people to the church around us Monday to Saturday, as well as let them know where there might be a church near them on Sunday? Here are two things to get you started…
Where is your church every day?
Notice boards tell the congregation what is seen to be important. Websites tell the world! What’s there? Information about church-based activities? Always. Information about an overseas mission? Sometimes. Mission is important, but in telling this we miss out on letting people know that people in our churches are out and about Sunday to Saturday. An everyday faith church, living out the good news Jesus brings as grandparents, shop workers, geography students, cleaners and vets…
The vision of what it means to be an everyday faith church is captured in this video from our friends at LICC.
After you’ve watched this video, why not think about putting this on a page on your website and beginning your everyday faith page? You could include a map of where the congregation spend time during the week - places of work, schools and colleges. You don’t need to include the detail, but something that represents how people are serving their communities in their daily lives, as well as in organised church projects.
Praying for an everyday church
Prayers for everyday life are as important as praying every day. When our prayers change, so do hearts. Of course, you can integrate a whole-life perspective into any element of a Sunday service, but the intercessions are the most obvious moment: praying for people in particular sectors, week by week, or for occupations, or school activities that people in your church are involved in. Perhaps begin with successive letters of the alphabet – ‘D’ is for dad, driver, dentist, dancer, designer, design and technology lessons...
Share these prayers on your website and social feeds
Use your social media to share these prayers with a wider audience. If you are able, why not tag in some of the local connections that fit with each theme? For example;
J is for… Journalist, joiner and junior eagle… so we are praying this week for Andrew and Alice members of the GS who shared their story of what being ‘truth-tellers’ means in their role as a journalist, for Hugh starting his new community carpentry course and Harry going to his first #CPFC (Eagles) away game this weekend.
J is for … Jeweller – today we are praying for @HandsonJewel our local jewellery shop. Thanks for being such a key part of our high street!
These are just two examples, but take time to consider the individuals, business, schools, organisations and charities that make up your local community. How can you use your church's social media presence to let them know they are valued and appreciated? When 98% of 16-64-year-olds use social media, it's easy to see this in an effective way to reach out.
In a recent Labs Learning blog, St John's Church, Lancashire, shared how a simple prayer on social media ignited conversations within their community. Read their inspiring story, here.
Have you been inspired to use your digital presence to connect with the world around you? We'd love to hear your story. Tag us in your posts on social media @churchofengland.
- Social media post ideas, with examples
- Case study: How can St John's pray for you?
- Find out more about our Everyday Faith resources.
- Join the Everyday Faith daily reflections
Programme Director for Setting God’s People Free