COVID-19: The Fellowship of Purpose Church Uses Media to Stay Connected

Updated: Apr 6


Pastor Byron L. Murray from The Fellowship of Purpose Church gives insight into the range of technology their congregation is using to stay connected.

"I also think [staying connected] is important because while they are in this season, they're going to remember that while they couldn't come to the house of God and they felt the level of God from the house of God."

Resources Mentioned:

Fellowship of Purpose Church

Facebook

Instagram

Group Me

Houston Responds COVID-19 Resources


Transcript:

Tommy Rosson:

Hello, this is Tommy Rosson with Houston Responds. And today I'm joined by Pastor Murray with the Fellowship of Purpose, in North Shore here in Houston. And I'm so thankful for you joining us today.


Byron L. Murray:

Well, thank you so much. It's a pleasure to be with you today, Tommy, and, you know, I trust that you're doing well and pressing through in this season.


Tommy Rosson:

Well, we are, tell me how COVID-19 has affected your church.


Byron L. Murray:

It's affecting our church in a big way. Of course it's affecting our church the way it's affecting many churches, maybe financially, maybe in the way that we have to adapt to be able to connect. The way we fellowship, the way we worship, you know, and so, I mean, we're having to adapt, but it's worth it because we have to keep the body of Christ and the people that God connected.


Tommy Rosson:

That's great. One of the things we were talking about earlier, you were talking about all the different ways that you and your staff and your volunteers and leaders have been working to ensure that you stay connected. Tell me a little bit about that.


Byron L. Murray:

Well, we're using every avenue that is available to us. I mean social media and the different, the church app that we have. We're doing all we can, you know, on Facebook and on Instagram. We're sending out regular messages, teachings, devotionals, short videos about the word of God, trying to put that out. We're doing that in our student, and youth ministries, youth pastors and children's directors. Those sending that out, directly to an audience where children and young people would be impacted by it. Internally we use in our Group Me, which is, something that is an internal communication for all of the teams and all of the life groups. And we're doing the same thing, sending out devotionals, sending out resources, information. We do an email blast right now we're doing app notifications, everything we can to not only send out resource and information, but also the word of God and encouragement to our people so that they can be, you know, given hope in this season.


Tommy Rosson:

You're telling me about in Group Me and a few other programs you're sending out these one minute videos, just of different things. Tell me a little bit about that.


Byron L. Murray:

Well, what I'll do is as the Lord, you know, leads me to, say a short word to them or short prayer to them. You know, people want to see face. I mean it is video aids and they want to see your face and you know, and so it'd be able to hear your voice in that way. So, you know, as I pray and I get a word of encouragement, I wouldn't just, I'll just record a short video one minute just telling guys, Hey, I love you guys. Here's a verse that's stuck out to me and my devotion this morning. I just want you to know, you guys know, I miss you. I want you to know that I love you. I'm praying for you. I can't wait to see you. And they really love it and they'll respond to, thank you so much, pastor. Just, it was good to see you. It was good to hear your voice. And it's something really short and easy to do, but I think it really, really goes a long way.


Tommy Rosson:

That's great. One of the other things you told me about was you're going old school with, making sure everybody in the church gets called. Tell me a little bit about that.


Byron L. Murray:

Well, we just, we took our database of names and numbers and we are dividing that up amongst a group of leaders and workers there some who have some tasks, a lot of tasks, that a home that'll make some calls. And so we're dividing that up amongst them and giving them a certain amount of names to call. I'm developing a small little script just to give them a guideline, you know, in which to call. So there'll be professional and put together and then I'm providing them some frequently asked questions just in case when they're calling some of these members. Members may have some particular things they're asking about, whether it's resource, the information, and so they'll, they will have that handy. So if they ask about that, they can do that. on the children and youth side, my youth pastor and children's directors, they're actually calling all of the kids, every kid that's involved in our ministry that we have information for. They are personally calling them and their parents to check on them and to ask them if they need prayer.


Tommy Rosson:

That's great. Why is it so important to you during the season to make sure you're making all these connections?


Byron L. Murray:

You know, the church is a family and that's one of the things that I've been preaching to my church since we've been a church is that we have to be a spiritual family. And you know, even though we may social, socially distance ourselves, we have to connect, you know, and so, you know, we're thinking about the future. We're thinking about when we were coming back together. If we don't work hard to stay connected now, it's going to be difficult to reassemble everybody. And I also think it's important because while they are in this season, they're going to remember that while they couldn't come to the house of God and they felt the level of God from the house of God. They felt our love as a church reaching out to them and I think that's going to go a long way when we are able to reassemble again.


Tommy Rosson:

No, that's great. That's wonderful. One of the, as you've talked to other pastors in your community, you know, different congregations have different sizes, different financial basis, different tools, resources. What's a little advice that you're giving to other pastors as you're talking to them?


Byron L. Murray:

As I'm talking to other pastors, I'm telling them, look, you know, use what means you have, use what resources you have and don't try to compete with another church. Different churches, you absolutely right, are going to have financial capabilities to have equipment that's on a higher level and video all of that. And guys are getting discouraged because they cannot produce the same quality as another pastor. Hey, you need to understand as a pastor that your people love you. That's why they go to your church. That's why they are committed to your church. They want to hear your voice. And it may not be the same level of a stream or video production that another church can do, but that doesn't really matter to them. They want to hear your voice. They want to hear your vision. They want to hear your heart for them. I know guys that are doing extravagant things. I know guys that are opening their phones and, and just preaching a word to their people. I know guys that are in their living rooms on Sunday morning with their kids holding up the iPad, preaching to their people. Do what you can and be encouraged that your people want to hear from you. They love you. You just give them the best you can.


Tommy Rosson:

Oh, that's perfect. That's just great to hear. And, you know, as you're shooting this from your office, you can see the passion come through. So it's, it's all just that connection point with the people that want to hear from you. Thank you so much for joining us today.


Byron L. Murray:

Well, it's my pleasure. I pray that, you know, this helps and I, you know, I will share just a quick bit of a testimony if I can with you.


I was actually listening to one of these interviews with another pastor and the pastor really inspired me. He spoke something about wanting to help, not only in restaurants, but some of the businesses that are having to be there. And he spoke about how they were taking, you know, 500 to a thousand dollars worth of pasta, something to it, to an HEB in inspired me so much that I got this idea. And I tell I've been a firefighter Houston and I worked there for 14 years. So I've been a first responder, an EMT. And so I really got an inspired in that moment. I said, you know what I'm going to do?


I'm going to go to a couple of local area restaurants. I'm going to buy some things taken over to the firehouse, and to some of those first responders as a gesture to them for their hard work and effort in this time. So I just wanted to share that with you, that this platform really works. It has encouraged me as a pastor. He's inspired me and gave me some vision on how I can better serve my community. So talking about, I want to say thank you, and Houston Responds for the work that you guys are doing.


Tommy Rosson:

Oh, great. We're just thankful to be here in this moment and hopefully share ideas and we've heard from pastors all over the place. They just want to know each other's doing, being encouraged and, and, and all the unique ways that we can live into this moment. So thank you for joining us. Senior pastors, church leaders. If you would like more of these videos and resources, they're available at houstonresponds.org/covid-19, go there. And like I said, there's more resources, more videos, more faith leader insights. And I thank you for joining us today.

Additional COVID-19 resources for congregations available here.

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