Covid 19 has been a curve ball, not only for families, educational institutions, and businesses, but for congregations as well. In the area of business, some have done very well at adapting and taking advantage of the opportunities. Delivery services were well positioned for the virus. Companies that sold cleaning products have mostly done well, and Zoom certainly profited.
Other companies will have long term negative effects. Airlines will have difficulties since companies that had employees traveling for meetings have learned that those employees don’t have to meet in person with clients and staff. Business travel had been very lucrative for airlines, which allowed them to offer lower prices to those traveling for pleasure. No doubt, the rise in rates will further cause airlines to loss more business.
Local churches have mostly relied upon in-person meetings, which is biblical (Heb. 10:25). When they were shut down many congregations upped their learning curve with online broadcasts of worship services.
As congregations are moving back to in-person worship, they may loss focus on their online offerings. Now granted, viewers have declined for several reasons: some people are back at church, and there’s no reason to view the online service. Others had been curious, but since have lost interest. Also, according to Tom Rainer, there have been issues about who’s in charge of the online broadcast. The pastor may have been the point person, but he’s back to focusing on in-person worship.
While there won’t be as many viewers of online church as there was at the start of the pandemic, this is still a mission field and a great opportunity for outreach. As congregations may eliminate some positions following Covid 19, one to add is an individual or team to be charge of online worship and events. This is largely an untapped market. Not only putting excellent online content and worship out there, but having organized follow-up of the audience.
Covid 19 has been a difficult blow for churches. But don’t miss the opportunities that it presents.
Ashton C. “AC” Smith
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