NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A month or so before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock was exploring the idea of partnering with a local church plant.
Marty Davis, Park Hill’s mission coordinator approached Chris Rhea, Pastor of Communications and Media, about creating a video resource to familiarize the congregation with the local church plant with whom they were going to partner.
The pastors of Oasis Church in Little Rock, Jordan Bowen and Kent Wiles, got together with Chris to create a video explaining their mission and passion for their community. The video was also to serve as an introduction of Oasis to Park Hill’s members. Rhea extended an invitation to them as a local church plant that if they needed anything else to reach out to them.
Flash forward to March, many churches began choosing to close their doors and switch to alternative methods of sharing and ministering to those in their community to protect their congregations due to the pandemic.
For most churches, this meant switching to online methods such as livestreaming or going live on Facebook or YouTube. However, for smaller churches or church plants some of these options weren’t as viable right away.
As Chris scrolled through Facebook he saw that Bowen and Wiles were asking around for some equipment to help them stream their services. Chris reached out and discovered that what they needed Park Hill had, so the partnership began.
Initially, Chris started helping set up and record their services for them. “They were very excited,” he said about when he reached out to help.
A simple gesture of lending camera equipment and helping a church plant like Park Hill did for Oasis is a partnership other churches might explore.
Chris is also helping them plan for the future. Now that most churches are going to be going back to a “new normal.” Livestreaming will never go away and it is seen as a good investment towards reaching those who may not feel comfortable stepping into a church building just yet. Oasis wanted to better prepare for that.
“I talked with them and helped them make decisions,” Rhea said about helping Oasis find equipment to invest in for that future. He joked, “they promised to repay in large amounts of coffee.”
Find more creative ways that churches can work together here: https://www.absc.org/articles/creative-ways-to-partnership