Thursday, May 7, 2020

What Happens Next - A Discussion about Post-COVID Church

Note: I was discussing these ideas with a good friend and local pastor Doug Rumbold (who blogs at and we decided to turn this into a bit of a back and forth. Head to his blog in a few days for the response, and as I respond to his response I'll post links to all of our posts.

What happens next?

I think immediately after the quarantine lifts we are going to see a rush back to church. There will be excitement in meeting again and most gatherings of believers will return to their pre-COVID numbers (or maybe even higher!).

My concern is what happens 6 months after we are able to gather again.  I'm worried that that the move to online streaming, videos and content during COVID will actually work against the church in the future. 

When life "gets back to normal" and we all get busy again... sports, long work weeks, other commitments... will we still prioritize gathering as believers?

Or will the average church-goer realize they can get the same experience from their own home, on their own time, and save the hassle of getting to an in-person gathering?  I hope this is a worse case scenario that doesn't play out.

Church was never meant to be a product to be consumed, but a gathering of believers. Did our efforts to feed and care for the church during COVID reinforce a consumer mentality? Or did those efforts help all believers exercise the calling to be a disciple who makes disciples?

I hope I'm wrong with this prediction, but I'm worried I might not be.


  1. Pheaney, I think that right now there is no better time for churches to determine how they make an impact in their community- if before they thought being a church meant you came to a gathering once a week and listened to a sermon and participated in worship- then maybe they haven't prepared their congregations properly. I would argue that like going to a live concert of an artist, versus watching a live video of a performance from home, or going to a live football game versus watching it at home, there are just certain things that are better experienced in person. Church worship and gathering is definitely one of those things. However, if church just boils down to attendance - we have certainly missed the mark on following Jesus. Honestly, there are more talented speakers, worship leaders and services that you can stream to your screen but it doesn't create that community and presence of belonging to a local community of believers. If attendance is down then churches need to recapture the hearts of their members for discipleship.

  2. Thanks for your comment Paul! I hope you're doing well!