As we consider how online education theory can inform ways to create a healthy community at a distance, the next component in our “Community of Inquiry” framework is to facilitate ways for the church leadership to interact with members.

Sometimes we forget how important a quick phone call, text, or written note directly from the pastor or church leader can be. Today, Dr. Iorg, President of Gateway Seminary, called me on the phone just to check on my family. He knows that I have little ones at home with school being canceled and simply took the time to make sure we were OK. It didn’t take him more than a couple of minutes, but it was a huge encouragement that shows he cares.

As you and your leaders seek to provide the shepherding and personal care needed in this crisis, here are some ideas for making that connection both sustainable and meaningful:

Divide and Conquer: Grab your database of members, divide them into manageable groups, and give your leaders a group. Provide a bit of counsel to the leaders to help them encourage members through fear, anxiety, need, and isolation. Make sure that each leader has made a connection with each person in their group at least once a week, if not more.

Make Varied Connections: If possible, ask your leaders to attempt a connection point with each group member in a couple of different ways throughout the duration of the crisis. They should attempt a call, a text, an email, and even via social media. You can use the member’s preferred communication channel to follow up in the future.

Connect and Encourage Connection: When connecting with members, encourage those members to choose a couple people to connect with on their own. Getting many people to talk together and check on one another is an ideal way to cultivate community at a distance. The next blog post in this series will address this particular point in detail.

Funnel Needs Back to the Leadership Team: As your team connects with members, and members connect with others, request that needs be funneled back to the team as a whole so that your church can care for the needy or vulnerable in this time. Follow up with those pressing needs and attempt to serve them the best you and your team can.

Don’t Forget Visitors: One incredible opportunity you and your team have right now is to connect with visitors from the past year. If they have completed a visitor card, you can call, text or email just to say something like, “Hey, we have your number on file from your visit to First Baptist back in November and we just wanted to check on you during this crisis. Our church is here for you. We have a livestream available if you are able to watch from home. Can I pray for you?” Perhaps they need community and care more than ever and might be highly receptive to the gospel at this time.


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Forgiveness, Restoration, and Pastoral Integrity

Forgiveness, restoration, and pastoral integrity are pressing issues in our generation – as they have been throughout history and will be in the future. Yet, as believers, our commitment to robust church fellowship demands we do this hard work.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

When Words Fail

Dr. Iorg responds to the Tyre Nichols tragedy and commends the response of the Nichols family.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Relationships Matter: Confirmed Again

Dr. Iorg reaffirms the importance of relationships and asks the church to make three choices to promote healthy community.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

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10 Questions with 10 Pastors
January 31, 2023

Brian Simms

In this new episode, our host is joined by Brian Simms, senior pastor of CrossPointe Church in Fontana, CA. Pastor Brian shares his process of how choosing the sermon themes for the year, how he gets organized for the week, and how he has grown over the years.
Lead On Podcast
January 29, 2023

Women in Ministry with Dr. Alicia Wong

Dr. Iorg and talks with Dr. Alicia Wong about the various roles women can take in ministry and especially in church planting.

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Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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