The church isn’t dead. The church isn’t dying. The church lost its footing for a minute, but God isn’t finished with his church and he isn’t finished with the world.
We criticize online news sites for their click bait approach to news, but a few websites dedicated to church ministry and pastors need to be reprimanded as well. In an effort to promote clicks during COVID, there have been a number of eulogies written for the local church. We have been told that it will never be the same, that 20-30 percent of pre-COVID attenders will not return, and that your pastor is getting ready to quit.
But, none of that has been my experience as a local pastor and it hasn’t been the experience of other churches and pastors I know. COVID has brought tremendous pressure on churches and their leadership, but healthy churches do not seem to be buckling. Are they struggling? Of course. But is the church at great risk?
The church has a divine charter. Jesus promised that he would build the church and “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
With all of the fear-mongering running rampant on the internet, some of you may be surprised to learn that many churches are actually thriving during COVID. Churches are still seeing people come to Jesus, they are still baptizing, and their budgets are still healthy. At Malvern Hill, our outdoor worship services have resulted in new attenders and new members. We’ve even conducted outdoor baptisms.