Thinking outside the building

Michael Smith

Former Converge Content Specialist

  • Church planting & multiplication

Imagine not seeing anyone from your church for two months. It’s not hard to do during this time of social distancing. Now imagine you are a mom of young kids and stuck at home. You would desperately need some encouragement, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s just what Nona Church in Orlando, Florida, provided for more than 200 moms this Mother’s Day weekend.

Even though it could not meet in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, the church connected with Converge Southeast found a way to do something special to honor moms.

Church leaders visited 218 moms on Mother’s Day weekend, delivering each of them a flower, a chocolate bar and a card in the form of a yard sign that read — Thanks, Mom! (We’re so grateful for all that you do.).

Lead pastor Collin Outerbridge said, “We asked the question, ‘What can we do that will honor moms in a way that helps them know their church not only sees them and loves them, but we go above and beyond to communicate care for them?’

Outerbridge said the gifts made a big impression on the moms and their families.

“We had moms tearing up. We had entire families coming to the door. It was pretty cool to see the individual opportunities and interactions. We got to pray over the homes of the moms that were there. For some of these moms, it was the first time they’d seen anybody from our church in two months in person.”

The Mother’s Day outreach is just one of the ways Nona Church, founded in 2015, has found to serve and connect with people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Every Sunday before the church’s online service, Outerbridge, his wife, Stacey, and their four children drop off 20 boxes of donuts to church families. They also take time to pray, connect and celebrate with them.

Nona Church, which meets in the Lake Nona YMCA, is also partnering with the YMCA of Central Florida to pack and distribute thousands of pounds of food. The church is funding a ministry in Osceola County that feeds 250 families a month. They also provide drivers to pick up food and prescriptions for the elderly and differently-abled.

Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, Outerbridge has seen bright spots.

“I think some of the biggest wins have been the natural, organic ways in which people in our church have stepped up to make a difference in the community,” he said.

The church, which hadn’t live-streamed its services before the pandemic started, has seen its reach grow through its digital presence.

“We’ve seen people connect to our church digitally in pockets across the country and even globally. Getting to worship with everyone together digitally has been beautiful.”

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Michael Smith, Former Converge Content Specialist

Michael Smith served as a content specialist for Converge from 2018-2021.

Additional articles by Michael Smith