For the past several weeks we have been reporting on the responses from our Covid-19 Survey. Thanks, again, for those of you who participated!
The Survey was designed to cover four key areas about what congregations have been experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic and thoughts about beyond Covid-19. The areas surveyed included:
- Ministry Volunteerism
- Learnings from the Covid-19 Era
Today’s focus is on Learnings from the Covid-19 Era
Question: Are there things that were initiated during Covid-19 that the church should consider continuing? If so, what?
83% of respondents said “Yes”.
17% of respondents said “No”.
- Continue & expand live streaming (Worship, education programs, topical conversations).
- Continue & expand the use of virtual (Zoom) meetings. (Prayer groups, small study groups, coffee hours, movie & book discussion groups).
- Daily devotions on the website.
- Assemble volunteer groups to make weekly or bi-weekly outreach calls to members.
- Take more advantage of the outdoors for worship or meetings.
- Arrange drive-by contacts with members we haven’t seen for a while.
- Continue to make services available online for later viewing.
- Continue & expand use of social medial to stay connected with one another.
- Provide online kids connections.
Question: Are there things that the church should consider not continuing post Covid-19? If so, what?
21% of the respondents said “Yes”.
74% of the respondents said “No”.
- Consider reducing the amount of live streaming.
- Consider reducing the number of large gatherings.
- Consider reducing the level of church campus activity by outside groups.
- Consider reducing the number of onsite meetings in favor of virtual meetings.
- Consider eliminating the offering plate in favor of other electronic ways of giving.
- End the Friday cocktail hour.
Out of Adversity comes Opportunity!
Without downplaying the awful toll inflicted by the pandemic, I remain in awe of the resilience of people not only to manage through this hardship, but to learn, grow, and be transformed. Church leaders have faced the pandemic head-on and have done their best to make the adjustments needed to sustain the life of their congregations. From that experience, eyes have been opened to new possibilities… new ways of worshiping beyond walls… new ways of being a faith community beyond borders.
The comments to the first question above provide a glimpse of the opportunities that lie ahead. We are now more comfortable utilizing technology to expand the reach of our ministries, and cast our net to a wider community. The key question seems to be the following… Is it the desire of church leadership to simply settle back into the past ways of doing things? Or is church leadership inspired to strive for a “new normal”. A new normal that fully embraces technology as a tool for expanding the reach of the congregation. A new normal that builds on the love and care experienced in new relationships formed over the past several months.
This concludes our four-week look into the survey results. Thank you once again for participating in the survey, and allowing us to learn from you!
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company