When COVID-19 swept through America, Echo Church in San Jose, California was faced with the same unique challenge that churches around the world were facing: closing their physical doors while still serving as a lifeline to hurting people.
The answer to move church services online was clear, and Tim Castagna, the Associate Pastor at Echo Church, has seen an incredible move of God in California since services have been streaming online.
“We’ve seen over 300 people say ‘yes’ to Christ for the first time and so many are finding community on digital platforms.”Pastor Tim
For the past 11 years, Echo Church has served the San Francisco Bay area, which ranks as one of the highest in America for unreached and de-churched populations. Even though the statistics are staggering, Echo has seen that people are open to the Gospel and have expanded to four locations with more to come.
“We’re seeing God do something across all those locations, and now, with maximizing the digital platforms, we’re really believing the best is yet to come!”Pastor Tim
A little over a year, Echo Church starting using the Church Online Platform. Then, in February, Pastor Tim transitioned from a Campus Pastor to this new role focusing on Church Online. So when COVID-19 began spreading and California went into shelter in place, Pastor Tim and his team were ready and positioned to minister online.
In addition to streaming services online, Echo has also moved small groups online as well. People are able to join those groups and continue to stay connected via video calls! There are a number of options to choose from so that every person that enters Echo Church has a place to connect and belong, no matter their season of life, and no matter if they’re meeting in person or online.
One of the greatest innovations to come out of this time for Echo Church and the surrounding area is the creation of Echo Compassion. This service matches volunteers with needs in their area. Someone simply selects “I need help” or “I would like to help” and then are connected with exactly what they need. Through this, Echo Church has had the opportunity to bless thousands in their area by delivering groceries, masks, and more! Their goal is to partner with other churches to join this movement with them as they continue to meet needs and truly be the Church in their communities. You can find more information at www.echocompassion.com.
Even though it’s a challenging season, they’re excited to leverage this opportunity to utilize technology to open new doors for people around the world to hear the Gospel even after this season is over.
Instead of looking at digital ministry as a solution for this season, Echo Church is ready to take it further and continue to use this opportunity to reach more people with the Gospel!
It is so clear that even with the physical doors closed, God is still on the move in the bay area of California, and Echo Church is effectively reaching their community in such a powerful way.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, the atmosphere in the bay area was one of general disinterest in the church. But through this season of digital evangelism, Echo has truly seen people turning to the church as a beacon of hope and light in a dark time.
Join us as we pray for all that God is doing in the bay area of California through the incredible efforts that Pastor Tim and the Echo Church team are making!
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