Churches Post-Covid: What's Next?

Written by Christine Bove on Sep 21, 2021 in Church Management

Read Time: 3.5 Minutes

How do we continue to have Sunday services post-COVID? How do we continue to engage our communities in a meaningful way?

This is a major conversation the Christian community is engaging in. And truth be told, COVID still significantly impacts a lot of communities throughout the country. Several states are still practicing state-wide quarantine measures, affecting churches’ ability to meet physically as a congregation. 

We saw the rise of the online church in early 2020 when the pandemic hit; a niche for churches suddenly became standard to survive and stay connected. Churches had to learn and adapt quickly to continue and sustain their services in a whole new way. 

Over a year later, and we still see the effects of online church. Now the question is: how do churches move forward in the online space?

The Effects on Christian Communities

We have seen pastors push the envelope in ways never done before to reach more for the Gospel and innovate discipleship practices to raise the next generation of spiritual leaders. Leaders had to pivot and learn the digital platform and take over that space in an entirely new way.

The problems Church Leaders face

You, as a leader, might be reading this post and reflecting on what changes you have had to make. You might be reflecting on the innovations and new ideas you have had to implement to keep up in the digital space; what it took to keep your community engaged and shepherded during this season. 

You have had to continue to grow and adapt and stay innovative like never before. You’ve solved many problems with creative solutions; you’ve created your digital platform and have been serving your congregation faithfully. But you’ve also noticed some other issues.

You and some other pastors might have noticed that certain groups of people are no longer engaging with the church at all. You might have noticed a lack of engagement in your community. You might have even noticed your demographics changing, seeing young adults disengaging entirely. Barna highlights these results in their research.

Many communities are experiencing the new nuances of what it meant for all churches to go completely digital. With the online world ever-evolving, even more so now, individuals are hungering for physical services and in-person community.

Hybrid church is the future

Yet again, pastors have had to pivot and innovate to shepherd their communities effectively. 

Because of the ever-evolving shifts, pastors and leaders are solving the problem of still engaging in genuine community but honoring all COVID regulations. They are accomplishing this through the hybrid church model.

Pastors and leaders are having to reimagine what church will look like, especially in a post-pandemic world. The new challenge many leaders are facing is what “digital versus in-person elements they want to keep as part of their regular church rhythms.” In Barna’s interview with Tim Keller, Barna reiterated, “Keller imagines a middle, the hybrid approach will be how the church moves forward into the future.” 

Keller elaborates, “There are a lot of things we can do digitally that are actually going to involve more people. We are going to be able to do better education and outreach. Still, at the same time, we have to use the digital to woo people into face-to-face relationships, or they are not really going to be changed by the Gospel.”

The creativity now lies in what digital aspects best serve your church community and in-person elements best serve your community. Each group of people will be different! 

We’ve seen a resurgence of house churches to bridge the longing for the in-person community while abiding by the new COVID regulations (you can read more about how to innovate with house churches in our blog A New Model for Churches in 2021.) We’ve seen a hybrid of in-person services and online services. We’ve seen in-person and digital events showcase the new era of hybrid fellowship. Leaders and congregations are leaning on creativity to continue engaging the world to draw more people to Jesus.

A Time for Digital Innovation

As you ideate and strategize for your congregation, pray and ask the Holy Spirit for His guidance on what your community needs. With the leadership mantle He has bestowed upon you, you can dream and strategize the best ways to continue to engage your congregation and disciple them. 

While the constant change can be entirely exhausting and frustrating, know that God knew what was going to happen before all the changes started. He will grant you wisdom and guidance on the best ways to creatively care for His flock. 

If you need guidance moving forward with creating an online experience for your church, we have some strategic resources created for you. With StartCHURCH Connect, you’ll get a complete guide to take your church services online with confidence. Or, if you need a church website builder designed with tools to specifically meet your ministry needs, check out our StartSITES Service!

We’re here to help you succeed. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 877-494-4655 or click the link below to schedule a call.

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Please feel free to comment. We always appreciate good dialogue. However, we do moderate each comment to ensure that it is on topic and not derogatory to other participants. We ask that you keep your comments brief and pertinent to the topic so that others may benefit.

Blessings,
Raul Rivera


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