The Impact of the Pandemic on Churches

Since the beginning of 2021, Terri and I have been searching for a new church home. Through a myriad of conversations, I’ve learned that this is true for a large swath of people. The pandemic upended our norms and traditions.

The impact of the pandemic on churches continues spewing to the surface with every passing wave of COVID outbreaks. Quicker than you can say new variant, people are wrestling with where and how they’ve always worshipped, challenged by the demands of a pandemic-riddled world.

I’ve read articles reporting that during COVID churches witnessed reductions in giving while simultaneously experiencing a deeper investment in technology. Several stalwart church events and activities were sidelined.

Overnight, out of necessity, virtually every pastor in North America became a televangelist. Amid the concerns surrounding COVID, politics divided and disrupted the lives of many church members.

Between politics and the pandemic, going to church no longer looks the same.

Like many other faithful church attendees, the pandemic left us questioning where to attend church and what that looks like for us.

In Dallas, Texas you will find a sea of churches and a smorgasbord of houses of worship. Our local Richardson community offers a full menu of faith traditions.

Terri and I are Christians. We believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. We try to model our lives after Christ, even though we fall short in our attempts at Christlikeness daily (Well, at least I do). While Terri would readily tell you she’s no saint, in my eyes she’s an angel (see what I did there?)

Mind you, Terri and I are not questioning our faith in the triune God we believe in.

I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

Rainer Bantau

Yet, a full nine months through 2021, we continue struggling with finding a new church home.

How has the pandemic impacted your church life?

As we wait for the Lord to reveal our new church home to us, Terri and I are trying to stay connected to God.

Terri and I spend time working through individual Bible reading plans.

We are working through narratives in Genesis through an online course offered by Hillsdale College.

We spend Sunday mornings out in nature walking, spending time with each other and communing with God.

At work, I am involved in helping lead our weekly Wednesday church services. I spend time in a weekly preaching team meeting contemplating Scripture and learning from wise men who bless me with the privilege of sharing their table. In addition, our staff participates corporately in daily devotions and weekly Bible studies.

We know that we would like to find a church home that offers Saturday evening services. Obviously, a reliance on the Word of God and a desperate dependence on Jesus are key ingredients of anywhere we worship.

What matters most to you when identifying the right church to call home?

Stay healthy. Be safe. Keep the faith.

The Devotional Guy™

8 Comments

  1. You’ve given me some food for thought, Rainer. I suppose a church I’m looking for is one that follows sound doctrine, believes the Bible and teaches that Christ is the only path to reconciliation with God. A good atmosphere of worship would also be on the list. Lastly, the people would need to love one another and share God’s love with those outside the church.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing. We attend Stonebriar Community Church, Chuck Swindoll is the pastor. I don’t know your age group, but we’re in the Marathon class. It’s a great group of believers.

    Blessings, John Alexander QuietTimeRhymes.com

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My wife and I have yet to return to in-person worship at home church since the pandemic began. We regularly attend Sunday worship online. While we are both vaccinated, we are just trying to be smart and safe until Covid cases decline to a much lower level. We have missed the weekly face-to-face time at church.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Rainer you know how to pose a question that can stop you in your tracks. I read your post this morning before church and have chewed it over as the day progressed formulating an answer. The first time I walked into the church we currently attend 15 years ago, I immediately felt like I had come home. You could tangibly feel the love of Jesus throughout the building. The people were genuine. The teaching biblically sound and challenging. The worship brought the congregation together in making a beautiful noise unto the Lord. It was truly the body of Christ. I left on a Sunday morning refreshed and ready to tackle a new week. Sadly most of that has been lost over the last 5 years. The focus shifted to performance and improving image so to increase attendance. Although the teaching is still Biblically sound it lacks power. Worship has been reduced to a bad rock concert. Unity within the body has dwindled especially in light of the divisive issues that rock our culture. Many familiar faces of people I have loved, prayed over, taught with, and served alongside have moved on. I leave the service feeling beat up by the noise and discouraged by the disconnect in the body. Why do I stay? The children’s/ youth ministry is amazing. My kids are excited to go to church and have a wonderful community of friends. They are being challenged in the word by their Sunday school teachers and youth pastors. They come home asking hard questions and we’re having amazing dialogues. I can see them growing spiritually. All that to say, right now at this point in my life what matters in identifying the right church to call home is that my children call it home. I hope you and Terry are soon able to find that church in which you walk in feeling like you’ve come home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad my question proved worthy of meditation, Beth. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in responding. I think that continuing to go where your kids are being spiritually fed is admirable. Terri and I certainly know friends who find themselves in similar circumstances and are choosing to stay at their church for the kids. Neither Terri nor I have kids so that’s not something we have to consider in our decision. Thank you for taking time to genuinely engage in this conversation. Since publishing this post others wrestling with the same dilemma have come forward and shared their struggle. So there must be something to this…
    Blessings 🙏

    Like

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