Off The Grid
Unplug from the Noise.
Plug in to the Word.
Starts October 10th
This past Monday we met for a day long strategic staff meeting and discussed the state of our church and what we could do on top of the norm to help move us forward in our mission.
We discussed things like how COVID-19 and 2020 changed the way people engage with the local church. We discussed the impact of the last few years on people’s spiritual health and spiritual practices. We talked about some of the key barriers and obstacles that keep us from moving forward in our desire to make and multiply disciples.
Having read and meditated on the book of 2nd Timothy we noticed reoccurring themes such as the need to rekindle, strengthen and “fan into flame” the good gifts that God has given. We noted the primacy of the Word of God in a culture that rejects it. God’s Word really is the means through which we become equipped to live out the call of God on our life.
Out of that time with the Lord and one another came the vision to call our congregation to a 6 week spiritual growth campaign Oct 10-Nov 21 called “Off The Grid.”
The emphasis for this campaign will be unplugging from noise of social media and plugging into the Word of God. We will encourage every member in our church to “get off the grid and reconnect with God.”
The campaign will include a church-wide Bible reading plan for the 6 weeks. We are hand selecting the passages to try and maximize the time you spend with God in the Word. As we commit to that six-week plan we’re also going to ask you to get off social media and use the time you would’ve spent there meditating on God’s Word.
To put our money where our mouth is – the church staff and official Broadview channels will “get off” social media for the 6 weeks of the campaign. All of our announcements, communication and updates will come through email and our church app. We are bucking the tide and swimming the opposite direction of our culture. We sense this is what God is leading us to do.
Uncommon and Uncomfortable
I’m praying that you’ll prayerfully consider joining us in that same journey and use this as a season to reinvigorate your spiritual life and help strengthen our church for the days ahead. Every church consultant I’ve read says “the future of the church is online.” Getting off social media seems like swimming the opposite direction of where the “experts” say we should go.
But we are following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I’m trusting if this IS from the Holy Spirit then he will move in your hearts in a similar way and we will see something beautiful come out of this campaign.
Because we are “getting off social,” it’s important that you be connected with us through the church app and email. You’re reading this email so you’re signed up in that regard. But if you haven’t downloaded our church app then I would recommend you do so. It has a messaging feature that will enable us to share updates, prayer requests and encouragement throughout the campaign.
If you haven’t yet done so – please download our app and create an account so you can engage with us during the campaign.
Some of you may be wondering, “why get off of social media?” It’s a good question. Could we not just have a church-wide Bible reading challenge and accomplish the same thing. My answer is no.
Here is the reasoning:
We discussed during that staff meeting how so many friendships were strained or ended through the careless use of social media over the past several years. This was amplified 10 fold during 2020. Social media has been doing damage to our spiritual and mental health for a very long time.
Divisions in our country and our church are amplified by social media algorithms that use anger and rage to increase their company “bottom line.” There have been plenty of documentaries proving this. You can read this article as an example of what’s going on. (It’s just one among hundreds. Most people acknowledge the obvious.)
The simple truth is – social media seems to do more harm than good for people’s mental health and spiritual growth. Because so much of our church communication is through Facebook and other social media channels, we are essentially asking people to expose themselves to a medium that works AGAINST what we are trying to build as a church.
Building Our Own Online Community
I know connecting with people on Facebook is convenient. I know how easy it is to spend hours scrolling through Instagram. But surely you can agree that social media has done serious damage to our society and interpersonal relationships.
Because of that, it doesn’t feel right to ask people to engage with our church on platforms that work against what we believe makes for good mental and spiritual health. So instead of pushing people to engage with us on social media we are building our own online “community” that is immune from what makes the traditional channels so toxic.
As the church and staff “fast” from social media. We are going to encourage people in our church to connect to this new channel and engage with one another there.
Essentially, we have invested into our church app and website so that we can provide a similar kind of service but on our own terms and with our own members. That way we can encourage and fellowship with one another online and not have to deal with some of the toxicity that comes from being on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This service will be available to every person who wants to connect with Broadview Baptist Church. Every small group and every larger ministry in our church can use this service to create online community. Whether your group consists of 4 people or 400 there’s a way to use this online tool to extend the fellowship that happens “on campus” to a medium you can access “on the go” throughout the week..
You can test it out right now if you want. Just download the app and hit the messages icon in the upper right hand corner (picture). You can create an account or log in using your existing social media credentials. You can also engage on our website by hitting the same icon in the lower right hand corner. (picture)
If you’re reading this on a desktop computer you can access the platform here. You’ll see a “discover tab” and a “conversations” tab. Discover is where the “public groups” live. We will add more in the coming weeks.
“Conversations” is where the private groups you’ve joined will reside. (You might have one group for your small group, one for men/women’s ministry, one for prayer requests, etc etc). Here’s a picture of mine as as example.
I’ll be sharing more in the next few weeks during the services. By no means are we “forcing” anybody to do anything. We also aren’t suggesting you stay off social media forever. It’s just a 6-week experiment that you can voluntarily participate in to see what God does in your life.
The growth campaign kicks off on Sunday, October 10th and culminates on November 21st. That’s the night of our Thanksgiving Service and Meal and we will celebrate the good things God does through this effort.
We will also have a church-wide prayer meeting on Monday, October 11th to commit this effort to God in prayer. Because of that, we will postpone our September prayer meeting until that night.
Hopefully the improvements to your mental and spiritual health will be such that it changes the way you interact on social media in the days following the campaign. We are also hopeful it can help our church transition away from using Facebook and like services for communication and we can transition to using our own tools instead.
The weeks leading up to the launch of the campaign will include a two-week miniseries on mental health, prayer and engaging God in the Word. During that time we will take a break from the book of Revelation.
However, this week and next week we will explore Revelation 7 and finally settle that question that everybody’s been asking “What about the rapture?” It should be fun! I hope you’ll join us.
If there’s any way I can pray for you please let me know. Just reply to this message.