As you can imagine, trying to plant a church during the COVID-19 pandemic has produced some challenges. When the pandemic hit, we were planning community meetings and doing outreach to get the word out about Pathway Church: A Wesleyan Community in Owasso, Oklahoma. (We are still scheduled to launch September 20, 2020.)
Then the shelter-in-place orders were given by our governor. We quickly figured out Zoom meetings for our core team and brainstormed ways to reach the community through social media. Team members were encouraged to have eyes that see and ears that hear. Looking for the needs of those around us became our goal.
We did a few Facebook contests including “Chalk Your Walk” and “What’s on Your Grill.” “Chalk Your Walk” encouraged all age groups to design sidewalk chalk art on their driveways and sidewalks then submit a picture of their masterpiece. Winners were determined by number of likes on the pictures. We gave Amazon gift cards for prizes in each age category (toddlers through adults). “What’s on Your Grill” asked people to submit pictures of what they were grilling/BBQing. We drew a name from all entries and the winner received a $100 gift card to a local butcher company.
A woman in our community, who doesn’t attend our church, came up with the idea to start a Facebook group for graduating seniors in our area. Parents and guardians posted pictures and stories about their child and a community member chose to “adopt” the child and send encouraging cards and gifts to them to help overcome the disappointment of the end of their senior year.
Pathway Church adopted the 21 seniors from the Owasso High School Rams boys’ soccer team. The soccer team was expected to win the state championship this year but did not get to play. Our core team families each donated a gift for the bags, and the boys received the bags when they turned in their uniforms. The young men were so thrilled and surprised by the gifts.
Another core team member is a photographer. She offered to set up a time to do cap and gown photos for Owasso’s virtual graduation. We set up a place at a local park and offered free portraits for graduating seniors.
Our goal is to glorify God as we reach our community for Christ and get our name out there. We appreciate the prayers of those in The Wesleyan Church family as we plant.
Pastor Ammie Sullivent leads Pathway Church.