5 Moves Churches Are Making within the Second COVID Spike
A lot of areas are seeing the COVID spike a second time, some even greater than the first surge. We have been communicating with hundreds of pastors each week who contact Cathedral Answers with questions and information.
When COVID grew to become known and pervasive, the majority of churches immediately ceased almost all in-person activities, including worship services. The most common responses included establishing digital worship services and digital small groupings. This time, the responses are different. Of course , we understand that every single church and every context are very different. Still, we see 5 common themes among the majority of the churches in their latest reactions to the pandemic.
- Continuing in-person solutions with less participation. This time, the majority of churches have decided to keep the particular in-person services open. However the leaders have encouraged individuals with health challenges, the elderly, and the ones with any exposure to COVID patients and victims to stay at home and watch the services virtually. Obviously, worship attendance continues to be hit again by this move.
- Renewing emphasis on electronic services. Churches in general have been through three phases with electronic services. First, they moved to digital with enthusiasm and effort. Second, as they came back to in-person services, many churches gave much less attention to streaming services. Now, in the third phase, churches are renewing their emphasis on digital services. More church frontrunners are realizing they should not need decreased their emphasis on electronic services at all.
- Making modifications to the budget. Many church commanders were pleasantly surprised to see giving stay strong in the early stages of the pandemic. There was a sense that church members were rallying to a cause. The particular stimulus funding by the federal government helped as well. Then, the giving began to wane in numerous churches. We anticipate giving to be down around 20% in 2021, even with the 2nd round, and possibly a third round, of stimulus funding.
- Many small groups returning to digital. Several churches have moved all of their small groups back to digital. Other churches have a mix of in-person and digital little groups. The churches which have maintained their emphasis on little groups, whether digital or in-person, are typically among the healthiest congregations today.
- More personnel transitioning to co-vocational. There is a very clear and definitive trend associated with vocational ministry staff shifting to a co-vocational role. A few of the moves are by monetary necessity. These staff are usually called bi-vocational. They have two paying jobs, one on the church and another in secular ministry. The chapel does not have the resources to pay the person full-time. More are moving into co-vocational roles by choice, either coming from secular vocations or going to luxurious vocations. The “tentmaker” ministry may be among the biggest modifications in church life in 2021.
We will keep you updated once we get feedback from the cathedral leaders we serve on Church Answers. And we would like to hear from you about the steps you are currently taking at your church.
Thank you for serving. Let us hear how you are doing.
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