Pastors and churches are rightly focused on Easter Sunday and the hopes of the Resurrection. Easter is the apex of all Christian hope and celebration. But pastors and churches are also very aware that post-Easter ministry is looming and it is feeling very different and longer term than anticipated.
Our team www.corpusvitae.org works with churches, networks, and denominations in 12 states and 7 countries which allows us to observe larger trends in church life. As we work with, interview and survey our partner churches trends are beginning to emerge. Here is what we are hearing, observing and anticipating:
1. People will gather in smaller worship gatherings and smaller small groups (50% full will be the new full and people will walk out of full rooms and worship centers).
2. The church will recover its essential ministry and nonessential ministry will have fewer participants and get less money.
3. The church has given people permission to stay home for worship services and worship attendance will go down another 15%, but online viewing will go up 50%.
4. Pastoral care will focus on psychological issues and the church will finally engage the mental health crisis.
5. Discipleship will occur in groups of 3 during the workday and groups of 12 or less in homes in the evenings.
6. Missions will focus more on the immediate community than traveling abroad.
7. The church will redefine hospitality in the age of social distancing. There will be no potlucks and no greeting time during the worship service.
8. The church will partner with the business and medical community in new and creative ways to solve community challenges.
9. Money will flow to mission(s) and ministry and out of programs and facilities.
10. Preaching will focus on meaning and significance so that the existential questions people are asking can be answered.
Coronavirus is changing the way people think about church. Our team believes that churches that view themselves as a movement instead of an institution can thrive in the new realities they face.
If you need help ReThinking your ministry during the Coronavirus crisis you can view Corpus’ Crisis Management Playbook here. Also, the full ReFocus process can help your team redesign its ministry to thrive in the new realities. Learn more about ReFocus here.