Pastor Craig Groeschel offered a critical insight as churches return to a new-normal. The insight was this … given all the seismic changes over the past 4 months, churches must approach their work ahead as start-up ventures. He is spot on.
Look at all the changes…
- Audience: We closed last fiscal year with 51% online and 49% in person. The new normal will probably look like 70% online and 30% in person.
- Growth: We closed last fiscal year with our highest attendance ever. This fiscal year will see an even more sizable increase. In the old order of things, we wanted to cross an attendance barrier of 200. We will probably cross soon the 300 barrier in average attendance.
- Online Memorial Services: We had never done an online memorial service. Over the quarantine, we hosted two for our dear friend Kerry, and a month later for Karen. Both drew over 1,000. Reasonable to assume more will actually choose online memorial services.
- Online Small Groups: We had tried online small groups… and failed again and again. Now online groups are all we have. In the future, a 50% online-50% in-person split is probably accurate.
- Online Pastoral Work: Pastoral work continues to grow and with people now well acclimated to online formats such as Zoom, that work no longer knows geographic limits.
We will have to face the above looking to the future and asking, prayerfully, how can we humbly serve in these new circumstances.
So what can we ask of everyone given all the above? I imagine two things.
The first is commitment. Congregations works because of a committed group of congregants who seek to see it through. And the second ask is that we all embrace curiosity. This is absolutely a brand-new era. There is no going back to many of the forms of church we loved. There will be a moving forward, with the heart remaining the same.
What will it look like? Join us and let’s answer that question together.