Speaking Truth in Love

SBTC Facebook groups and videoconference calls keep church leaders connected during the COVID-19 crisis

May 22nd, 2020 / By: Jane Rodgers | TEXAN Correspondent / comments

SBTC Facebook groups and videoconference calls keep church leaders connected during the COVID-19 crisis

As church leaders, staff and volunteers navigate the challenges of restarting in-person gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention continues to offer a variety of online resources to help.

Zoom videoconferences happen weekly focusing on worship, discipleship, adult, student, college, children’s, family, special needs and women’s ministries in a COVID-19 context. Also available are Zoom meetings for pastors’ wives and Asian, African American and Spanish-speaking pastors. 

To sign up for any of these scheduled events, visit https://sbtexas.com/covid19/video-conferences/, scroll down to the ministry area(s) of interest and click on the appropriate registration link.

Many past video call conferences have been recorded and are accessible via the “Watch” link on that page as well.

Additional interaction via Facebook

SBTC Facebook groups are providing another means of staying connected while ministry leaders are forced by the coronavirus to be physically remote. Join one or more of these groups in your areas of ministry or interest to receive updates, reminders of upcoming Zoom events and opportunities for interaction.

A partial listing of SBTC Facebook groups is found at https://sbtexas.com/covid19/video-conferences/ and is reprinted here:

Student Minister’s Network

Family Ministry

SBTC Disaster Relief

Children’s Ministry

Church Communications

NextGen (40 & under) Pastors

Roundup Network (collegiate ministry)

Women’s Ministry

The SBTC children’s and family ministry Facebook pages promote the combined children’s and family ministry Zoom calls held on Mondays. Past topics include summer planning, parenting and technology during COVID-19 and “Where do we go from here?” 

Zoom video call conferences for special needs ministries are also held by the SBTC children’s ministry department on Tuesdays.

The SBTC women’s ministry group page offers its 500 members reminders of the ongoing Zoom conferences for women’s ministry leaders held Tuesdays, featuring a variety of speakers such as LifeWay’s Kelly King. 

The Facebook page also promotes Zoom gatherings of pastors’ wives, held Thursdays. There is also a separate pastors’ wives Facebook page, Laura Taylor, SBTC women’s ministry associate, told the TEXAN. 

“We have used the [women’s ministry] Facebook page to encourage interaction between women with questions each week and short encouragement videos. We use the page to advertise resources offered through the SBTC,” Taylor said, adding that a Facebook livestream women’s conference with keynote speaker, cameo appearances from women’s ministry leaders, and breakout groups is planned for October 9-10, 2020.

The SBTC disaster relief Facebook page offers photos, news articles, video clips, announcements and training schedules for those interested in DR. A separate Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SBTCDR/, also highlights the ministry of SBTC DR.

The Roundup Network Facebook page centers on SBTC collegiate ministry and includes event reminders, helpful posts, links and articles. Weekly Zoom video conferences will be replaced by monthly video calls, Mitch Tidwell, SBTC lead associate of student and collegiate ministries, announced in a May 10 post.

Among other helpful and interactive posts, NextGen’s Facebook page includes links to the Prudent Pastor series, featuring interviews with the SBTC’s Alex Gonzales and Lance Crowell, the SBT Foundation’s Bart McDonald and IMB President Paul Chitwood.

Reminder we are not alone

Each SBTC group’s Facebook page presents opportunities for direct interaction among ministry leaders finding themselves in similarly treacherous COVID-19 waters. 

On May 18 on the SBTC children’s ministry page, one member posted the question: “Now that we have hit this point in May, I would like to ask you all what your final VBS adjustments and plans will be this summer? Please.”

A variety of responses ensued, from questions about Governor Abbott’s latest reopening guidelines to suggestions for family VBS to descriptions of a virtual VBS and a plan for VBS at home. 

The comments were practical and varied; they also reminded participants they were not alone: perhaps the best part of social media.