COVID-19 EE Ministry Update posted by Evangelism Explosion on May 21, 2020
In March, we alerted you to our decision to cease in-person event for eight weeks. It was our hope that we would be able to return to business as usual following that period of time. However, there is still much uncertainty in the world today. Many areas are beginning to loosen shelter-in-place orders, while others remain locked down. Such issues make it difficult to issue a blanket declaration regarding our ministry’s return to normal operation.
At our headquarters in North Carolina, we are entering Phase 1 of reopening, which allows us to resume work in the office as long as we continue to follow social distancing and cleanliness guidelines. We have implemented a transition plan for staff to return to work by Tuesday, May 26th.
For ministry worldwide, we have outlined some current recommendations that we have put in place between now and July 1st, when we will review our situation again.
We will adhere to the direction of local authorities. In-person events will not resume until local or state governments in the area lift restrictions on public gatherings.
We will be sensitive to the feelings of host churches. Even as restrictions on public gatherings begin to lift, churches may establish varying timelines as they weigh the many issues before them. Since we are a ministry that works in and through local churches, we will be understanding of their concerns and decisions. We will not urge churches to schedule EE events before they are ready.
We will do all things respectfully. Even as semesters, workshops, launches, and clinics are able to resume, our normal way of operating may be altered for quite some time. Here are a few things we will consider:
- Our methods for doing OJT may need to change during this time of social distancing. Many people will be uneasy about being approached by people they do not know. It may be appropriate for an EE team to simply introduce themselves from a distance and ask people if they are comfortable having a conversation.
- EE teams may consider wearing face masks on OJT to help alleviate people’s concerns about being approached.
- People may be nervous about accepting physical items such as tracts from EE teams. EEI offers several digital resources that teams can share with people they meet, such as: hopeinacrisis.com, online tracts, and the eeHelps mobile app (Apple, Android). Digital resources can be easily shared via text message or email.
- We’ve heard of wonderful reports about online OJT via Zoom. EE trainers can schedule a weekly Zoom meeting with their team and invite friends, family, colleagues, or church visitors to join them. Treat the Zoom conversation like you would any other OJT encounter.
One of the bright spots of this season has been our online endeavors. We’ve seen a tremendous response to online workshops, and many churches have continued their semesters on Zoom. Even if your area is slow to reopen, we invite you to continue making use of our online tools.
If you or your churches in your area have found successful ways of doing online training and outreach, please share those ideas with us! We would love to share your stories with the EE world so that we all might be inspired!
COO, Evangelism Explosion International