Almost as quickly as lockdowns began, churches began to accelerate their digital outreach. Facebook, Zoom, and other virtual broadcasting platforms were adopted with a swiftness brought on by necessity. For a time, social media was “overrun” with the good news of Jesus Christ. The widespread accessibility of technology provided the opportunity to minister that even conservative traditionalists could support, albeit not completely without reservations. No longer was it necessary to secure broadcast times or operate complicated and expensive equipment to reach a mass audience. Technical democratization has created an entire broadcast studio in our pocket.
Some churches excelled during this time. Memberships have grown for many. Fear and uncertainty have a way of encouraging souls to seek a higher power and a sense of meaning. Now, 9-months into our collective journey, with a vaccine on the horizon, churches need to plan for their post-coronavirus future. Are physical congregations, as we once knew them, still relevant?
Are church buildings still necessary
If it is possible to worship “remotely,” should we permanently shift our focus to internet ministries as opposed to physical and local congregations? Like all things, churches must consult the scriptures. Hebrews 24-25 gives clear instruction that we should not forsake meeting together. Yes, it is possible to worship God in all of his creation. However, there is undeniable power when even 2 or 3 are gathered together in his name (Matthew 18: 19-20).
Too often, churches fall into the prison of binary ideas (i.e., if one idea is bad, the other must be good). Churches don’t like to operate in gray areas for fear of the slippery slope. Many congregations are extremely leery of operating in capacities that could challenge tried and true traditions. These fears are not unfounded. However, we must analyze new opportunities as they arise to determine if they are opportunities to say “Yes, that is good….and also, this is good,” in order to grow and revitalize our ministries.
The Church can do both
Physical worship services have been the accepted norm since the Church (capital-c) was founded. This has been and will continue to be the preferred form of worship for many. We need to continue to plan for our facilities to be a vital part of our ministries. Likewise, we must also consider expanding our hastily built digital infrastructure to accelerate the great work of the Church and to operate in complete harmony with in-person worship.
The pandemic will pass, and our buildings need to be capable of accommodating a revival of souls longing to gather together again. Are upgrades needed? Are new safety protocols needed that will allow congregants to feel safe upon their return? Now is the time to plan and implement.
Contact Eden Religious Facilities to speak to one of our advisors.
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