MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Joining us this morning is Pastor Julius Bryant Jr with Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church. We recorded this interview last week. With more Churches either returning to online-only worship service or putting a renewed emphasis on digital platforms, the internet has a transformative power for churches. In what ways has online worship helped your church?
Guest: I feel it has expanded our audience. Not only have our members watched our services but we have reached several others who aren’t members of the church and they have become frequent to our weekly service on Sunday as well as Wednesday night Bible class.
Anchor: In what ways is worship hindered by an online-only service?
Guest: I do not think they are hindered but different. We have had to get creative in our worship by using musical tracks and backgrounds to create the essence of the Sunday ambiance as much as possible.
Anchor: One danger I’ve heard from pastors when it comes to online worship is that congregants can fall out of the worship habit with online service. How concerned are you about that?
Guest: I’m not too concerned about it. The first thing I taught on after we began to quarantine is the importance of continuous worship. I stressed the fact that worship can take place anywhere not just behind the doors of a church sanctuary. This is also something that I taught over the years and in preparation for moments like these. My concern was with my seniors in the church and their lack of technical knowledge to watch our services but never feared they would stop the worship habit. Our seniors are the ones who taught us how to remain faithful.
Anchor: What are some of the best ways to keep online parishioners with you and not lose the worship habit?
Guest: We have put other things in place to try to ensure that our people continue with us from the beginning. We have a church Reminder to keep parishioners posted with announcements and it gives them a way to reach out to each other. Every Sunday evening we do a Q & A with the members via YouTube, Facebook, and Zoom to allow for time together. We may send out an announcement throughout the week to meet us on a Friday night Zoom call for prayer or just to see each other for everyday conversation.