ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Heaven help you if your cell phone rings in church. You'll catch a death stare, a disappointed glance or maybe even worse from mama.
But now, churches are turning to mobile devices to make sure everyone can still worship without the need to congregate in large groups.
"Ten years ago all this technology didn’t exist," said Pastor Jeff St. Clair who leads Longleaf Church in St. John's County. "Here we are in 2020 with a blessing from God to reach people we may never have reached."
Like thousands of other churches, his was forced to close its doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.
He's now moved his sermon -- complete with music, special guests, and kids worship -- to a Facebook live broadcast.
But his church is in its infancy, less than a year old, and a sudden closure like this could have made it yet another victim of this pandemic.
But Pastor Jeff, who has the uncanny ability to find blessings anywhere, says this will all have the opposite effect on his congregation.
"We usually get 200 in worship," St. Clair said. "Last week we had 4000 views on our sermon."
However, he says this is less about growing a church right now and more about giving anyone and everyone a sense of community.
"It's time to ride the wave", he says. "There's a lot of unfortunate things happening and we have an opportunity to share the love of God and compassion with so many people."
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