Now that more and more people are able to get one of the Covid vaccines, more people will feel comfortable returning to social events. The question is, “how many people will return to church?”
Realistically, some people will not return. Many pastors and church leaders will find themselves with lower attendance than they had pre-Covid. With the vaccine and herd immunity, masks may not be required. The wearing of masks in congregations in many instances has before more divisive than the battle over worship music. Perhaps that issue will eventually be behind us.
But there are opportunities. Most worship services have been broadcast over social media or a church website. While some might be glad that will be behind them, it would be a mistake to neglect that potential outreach and connection with people. Yes, your number of viewers has probably decreased from the early days of doing this, yet it still presents local fellowships with opportunities. At one time a congregation would have to pay to be on a radio or tv station, and more recent technology enabled some local churches with the opportunity to be on a cable channel. I did this in my final years of serving as a regular, fulltime pastor. Cable expense was not high, but for a good quality, proper equipment and people with some know-how were required. You still need people with some technical ability, but the cost of getting your worship outside the four walls has decreased. But don’t forget the quality. People will judge your congregation based upon the quality of your website and worship presentation.
Churches are becoming more community focused, which is very important. Too many congregations find that they don’t have members in their immediate communities, and these communities conclude that the people coming to these facilities don’t care about the folks around them. As more social activities open up, congregations can lead the way with activities that show their care and concern for those in their midst.
Build on what you’ve learned and done during the Covid crisis. Continue broadcasting your worship, and put a focus on reaching your communities.
If you need help, contact me. I stand ready to consult. Any initial meeting is free of charge.
Ashton C. Smith, Certified Church Consultant