Will Churches Go Back to Normal Post-Covid-19? - Leaders.Church


Will Churches Go Back to Normal Post-Covid-19?

The Post-Covid-19 Church

The world has just gone through, and is still in the midst of dealing with, the biggest pandemic our current generations have ever known. Much reference has been made of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. Now, we have our own version in 2020. So, what will the church look like post-Covid-19?

In the last three months, pastors and church leaders have worked harder than ever had before. They diligently kept the Body connected through online and video services. Small Groups grew in churches all over the world. Phone calls, Zoom calls, emails, texts, etc. filled the airwaves.

These same pastors and leaders have overwhelmingly worked hard to cooperate with local, state/provincial and federal governments. This has been particularly challenging in democracies where freedom of religion is a staple. Handing over and forfeiting to government, for this time, the freedom to worship and assemble was not taken lightly.

Now, in the mid-summer of 2020, churches are making decisions to begin to re-gather in local church buildings and rented facilities. While all of us know that the church is the body of believers, not the building in which we gather, for many the thoughts of being back in community with other believers is an exciting thought. For others, it is much more anxious.

Informal Survey

At the time of this writing, Leaders.Church has done an informal survey of just over 700 churches asking this question.

“Do you think the church as we’ve known it in the past will eventually be back to “normal”? yes or no”

As an aside, prior to the survey, we interviewed Pastor Ryan Visconti of Generation Church in Mesa, Arizona. Click here to catch that short video on his thoughts on re-opening the church.

We really had absolutely no idea of how the results would pan out. We understand that the post-Covid-19 reality is uncertain. But very quickly out of the blocks, probably within the first 200 respondents, we were landing at 70% of people saying “No” we won’t return to normal and 30% saying “Yes.” And we’ve stayed consistent at that percentage split for all 700+!

One of the most common observations made by people was that Leaders.Church did not define “normal.” And of course, that was by design because we wanted guys/gals in the trenches of church work to make that definition.

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Here were some interesting takeaways from the “Yes” respondents.

  • The Church (Big C) is the Lord’s, not ours and by virtue of that, the individual local church (small c) will reconvene… be back in business.
  • “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church.” Matthew 16:18b ESV
  • The church will come back bigger and better than ever before.
  • While the church will get back to normal, it will take much longer than most of us want.

Here were other takeaways from the “No” respondents.

  • The church should never want to be back to anything that might have been considered normal in the past.
  • Many of these respondents viewed the “normal” of the past to be less than God wants for His church.
  • The church will come back bigger and better than ever before.
  • Many of these pastors and leaders viewed this return, in gathering together again, to returning to our roots of the early church; the church met the needs of the Body, evangelized and discipled.

We were fascinated and very pleased with the overall sense of optimism from both “Yes” and “No” respondents. People were overall optimistic in responding “Yes,” feeling they’re going to be able to get back to ministering to people in person and preaching the Gospel and discipling face-to-face.

At the same time, there was overall optimism from the “No” people because they, by-and-large, viewed the past as less than it could have been and the future to be bright and full of expanded opportunity. They saw the explosion of online offerings to people who generally don’t even consider coming to their church building as a huge win and will continue and grow their digital venues well into the future, post-Covid-19.

In terms of the nuts and bolts of re-opening, we wrote a blog on doing just that to be helpful to pastors and church leaders in local churches/communities. Check out the 8-Step Plan to Reopen the Church here.

At the end of the day…

Pastors and church leaders see the church for what it is, the greatest hope of the world. The message of the Gospel and the command to build disciples has not changed. These pastors are ready to grow their churches in new and greater ways, post-Covid-19.

It is our prayer that your church will advance for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 like never before. God’s hand is on you. We, here at Leaders.Church, believe in your capacity to lead it to the greatest fulfillment of scripture ever. The post-Covid-19 reality that we are headed toward is uncertain, but we do know that God is still working.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

Amen, Amen and DOUBLE AMEN!

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