Technology is alive and well, and Temple Bible Church utilizes its benefits to help teenagers safely worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
YouTube is the location of Overflow High School Live, part of the church’s Impact ministry program.
Because people do things online for entertainment, the leaders believed the church could do the same thing — use the same tools, Dave Tate, high school pastor, said Wednesday.
The program, which began in mid-March, was the result of hours of planning to find a way to reach parents and students, Tate said. Tate and others believed at that point it would only be for a short period of time.
“Our first impression was it would only be for a short period of time and we’d all be good,” Tate said. “We wondered how we could engage them online and put out some of the content like we have on Sunday mornings — and in a shorter format.”
The 15th show was filmed Wednesday, Tate said, and they’ll film a total of 20 shows before they stop at the end of August.
More in-person things will be planned for the fall, but Tate said he’s not sure yet what that will look like.
“Students are craving in-person interaction right now. This has definitely forced our hand creatively but it’s been invigorating,” he said. “The kids are excited to get out of the house and see people.”
More than 30 students have been on the show at some point.
The first 10-12 episodes had themes. High school graduates from past years were back from college early because of COVID-19 and helped. It became a simple format. They played a couple of games. Everyone drew names, and the name the winner had won a gift card, Tate said.
Overflow High School streams live at 8 p.m. each Thursday on the church’s YouTube channel, as well as on the church’s Facebook page.
Currently, the group is learning from Colossians.
Perusing through some of the YouTube videos from past weeks, Overflow HS included skits and a “battle of the schools” - those representing the church’s membership.
One student had the idea for the battle of the schools. The matches have been between Temple and Belton, Academy vs. Lake Belton High School, homeschool vs. Salado and Central Texas Christian School vs. Providence Preparatory School. Afterward the semifinals and finals will culminate in a large social gathering — during which the church will incorporate social distancing rules — once school starts.
More information about Overflow HS can be found by emailing Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Impact Bible Club
Impact Bible Club will be this year’s version of vacation Bible school at Temple Bible Church.
Scheduled for July 20-23, the Bible Club will be only online. A live portion will involve children and will have two time slots — 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Tate said.
Some of the games from Overflow Live will be mixed in, and competition winners will deliver a prize to the home of the child whose name they have drawn. Also included will be stories, songs and more games.
Parents can go online to the church’s HUB to register their children to watch.
There is a neighbor invitation in a PDF file on the link. A parent can go to the link, print off copies and invite people to watch online. Inviting them can help build relationships, too, Tate said.
“What is there to lose by letting kids participate?” he added. “We’re finding ways we can still engage them,” Tate said.
Students will be trained next week to reach children ages 3-12, according to Tate. That will be the first time the students have been seen in person since the pandemic began.