Reflections on our first weekend of online church….

Front Door CrossThe path upon which our Key Ministry team embarked this past weekend in launching the Front Door is one I now realize is likely to be one characterized by all manner of unexpected twists, turns and surprises. It wasn’t what I expected…but it was better than what I’d expected in a number of ways.

The blog post announcing the worship schedule for Front Door was the second-most frequently shared post on Facebook that we’ve ever had…well over 400 people took the time to post the schedule to their Facebook walls and share with friends. We’ve clearly identified a need.

Our greatest limitation in launching new worship services online is the availability of worship hosts. Worship hosts make themselves available on the chat wall that appears on the screen below the area where the worship video is presented. We typically won’t make online worship available without hosts available to engage visitors, pray with anyone who requests prayer and to invite families to join worship through our social media tools. As of the middle of last week, we had one trained worship host. Four of our Facebook followers were led to volunteer their services as hosts late last week and did a fabulous job! Two of the four I’d NEVER before met or interacted with online. All were superbly qualified to host. A huge THANK YOU to Allyssa Green from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Barb Dittrich from Snappin’ Ministries in Wisconsin, Julie Brooks from Grapevine, TX and Nora Barringer from the Shawnee Mission schools in Kansas for serving with excellence this past weekend.

Two other encounters from the weekend stand out in my mind…

Front Door Logo

  • During one of our Saturday night services, we were joined by a mother from a large midwestern city unable to attend church because of the challenges her son experiences on the high end of the autism spectrum compounded by sensory processing issues associated with cochlear implants. Within an hour, thanks to the help of the Special Needs and Disability Ministry Leaders group on Facebook, she had two possible connections for her family with churches in her general area.
  • Halfway through our last service on Sunday night, I glanced at the chat wall before heading off to bed and saw that our worship host was engaged in prayer with one of our guests…here’s a message I received from the worship host following the encounter (with edits to protect the privacy of the family involved)…

Oh, my gosh! XXXX is amazing. She is an ordained pastor and an RN. She does foster/adoption of extremely medically fragile children. XXXX, her son, was having a rough week with brain stem seizures. She was so grateful to attend that Easter service online! At the end of the service, she told me XXXX’s seizures had stopped and he had fallen peacefully asleep. Glory to God! FYI… XXXX is part of that FB group. Ironic how I didn’t want to host a 10 PM service. But I figured, if she could be suffering through XXXXXX’s seizures with him, I could suffer through another hour by attending church with her.

Thanks to our partners at Community Bible Church in San Antonio for making this possible. Worship is available 24-7 at their site, www.onlinechurch.com.

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Key Ministry-NewCan you help us to help churches seeking to pursue kids with disabilities and their families? Help us get the word out regarding the free services we make available to churches and families? Help us invite more families to join us for online church? We need you to share our Facebook page with others who can help connect families of kids with disabilities to churches equipped to welcome them. Here’s more on how you can help.

 

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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3 Responses to Reflections on our first weekend of online church….

  1. Ann Holmes says:

    God is on the move! Wow!

    Like

  2. CLC Network says:

    So wonderful to hear that this first weekend went well and that you were able to reach out to families! We’re excited to see where Front Door may lead. Blessings!

    Like

  3. What a wonderful service and ministry!

    Like

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