Church and Coronavirus
Since churches (or most, anyway) have closed, has your church gone online?
I want to EDIT to say i’m sure you all are doing this but please pray for our ministers especially the pastors of small congregations. I am hoping that especially tithing will not decline and that we continue to support them.
@CJ – seems to me your taking Heb 10 out of context. That’s not for the govt, it’s for the church…and the church is not a building, it’s Christ’s people. They can still meet in small groups or online via FT or ZOOM. We are to encourage one another. If you’ve stopped that, then you can start but ragging on your pastor here for facing tough decisions and stressors that you’re not facing is weak and pathetic.
Probably the greatest threat to the local church is disunity of the body between those who have polar opposite viewpoint and you’re playing right into the devil’s hand. To top it off, the stress on Lead pastors and church staff in worship ministries is incredible. The pastoral care right now is incredible and overwhelming trying to minister to people with varying needs and views, then there’s financial issues, building issues, staffing, budget cuts, health and safety concerns for all.
Your pastors aren’t responsible to fight for your constitutional rights, they are to lead the local church and to help empower the church scattered to serve and go make disciples. One of the unintended consequences of this pandemic is that the church gathered has become the church scattered and it is like a refiners fire for some in the body right now.
Is the Enemy using this and working in the shadows? Absolutely…AND so is the Holy Spirit. One of our campuses wasn’t well known in the community but because of our work in feeding the county, people have visited there every week to receive food. God is bigger and He is in control. Nothing has held His Church back, even in countries where it is illegal to gather.
Do I see evil forces working towards totalitarian control and loss of freedoms and leading to a one world govt? Yes, BUT God and His Church will survive until He takes us home. Do I agree that this has been a big mess where confusion and fear abound? Yes. Am I ready for this to be over with? Absolutely.
Do I agree with my lead pastor on every issue, the topics he preaches on, how he takes them on, or other decisions he makes? No, not always BUT he is my spiritual leader and he is accountable to God for his leadership. If I can’t serve or worship under his leadership and direction, it’s time for me to go. How about praying for your pastor instead of publicly criticizing him, wishing for his removal because he isn’t acting the way you want? How about going to him and asking how you can specifically pray for him? How about asking what you can do to help and serve him?
It is a lonely and stressful job…and leading through this was NEVER taught or studied in college, seminary, or ordination studies. There is no playbook and each church situation is unique with spiritual, safety, sustainability, logistics, staffing, volunteers, various age ministries, continued online presence, financial matters, and body unity with a diverse political landscape and people & families with varying health concerns which if grace is not readily given, will destroy the local body and be a poor witness to the community. Have you thought about all those issues? Is your response full of love and grace and helpful or hurtful to your local body? Are you building unity or sowing discord in your church body?
Once again CJ, you didn’t read what I wrote and incorrectly assume way too much about what was written and the people (me in this case) who wrote it. I completely agree with EVERYTHING you’ve said about the virus and pandemic situation. Our govt leaders have created economic chaos and now addictions, suicide, physical and sexual abuse have increased in sickening rates and other morbidity issues are taking people’s health and life. Again, I agree.
What I don’t find helpful is the bitterness and anger which you take out on your pastor (many pastors will be leaving the ministry because of the stress and strain of this panademic)…or the same attitudes, along with the condescending & pious spirit which you respond to people on this forum. That is why you get downvotes. It’s not helpful…and for someone who has publicly claimed on numerous occasions to be educated and a Bible scholar on this forum, the attitude displayed about your pastor and church leadership is perplexing which is what I was addressing.
Clearly, you have been hurt in life and I am sorry. It bleeds through so many of your posts. Maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror about the toxicity you bring to others around you and deal with the pain and trauma you’ve faced; because by your own admissions here, it seems to impact your relationships and the things you write. I know that God can bring healing to you so you can have a great ministry to others who are going through those issues.
An update – our church will reopen June 7 for just the a.m. worship service, no Sunday school. We have take lots of measures. It’s time! We will be shy one week of being closed 3 months for services on site.
Anyone else reopening or already has?
Today will be the last week we video the service in an empty sanctuary. Next week we return to in person services on Sunday, albeit drive-in/parking lot services as along as the weather is amenable. The plan is to do that for the month of June and then move into the building in July since it’ll be hotter and more humid. We’ll still be recording the services since we have numerous at risk folks in our congregation that will still be staying home until things clear up some more.
I have been posting audio sermons for a number of years. Video is a challenge right now to ramp up getting a handle on technology. We are a small congregation with many in the at-risk age group. This coming Wednesday I am going to Skype our Prayer meeting and plan on trying it for Sunday. In the meantime we’re ramping up on other forms of live streaming. We don’t have a techy person so we’re left to figure things out. We’ll make it. We’re going to be doing Board meetings with Skype. What a journey.
The biggest issue with online for churches is the audio, the nxt is poor lighting, followed by poor video quality (which is hard to do with a stand and most video cams) BUT I’ve seen it before, although I’d certainly recommend getting a quality dedicated cam. Poor audio equals bad video. Great audio is the start to good video. NEVER hold a camera…buy an external quality mic…NEVER send the camera an audio feed without monitoring it, ideally outside the room. Online is a great opportunity to reach people beyond the walls of the church BUT don’t give them a reason to turn it off because of poor quality before hearing the message.
While we haven’t regularly been putting our messages or services online via video, we’ve been online with a message podcast and regularly building our audience with regular video messages short and long plus special testimony & interview messages that we created which have been shared over the past couple years to create a following beyond our church. Last Sunday’s 13 minute video message was clicked and shared over 2000 times, when our annual attendance was about 360 last year.
I can watch mass streaming online. Problem was we were streaming the Sat. night mass 1/2 hour before Sunday mass then at the point of Sunday mass, it switched over. We luckily had seen all the liturgy of the Word so it worked out. We will check out our timing better next week. I enjoy watching and participate although it is odd that I am the only one responding. DH has a harder time watching because it is not live and we are not in church.