Greg Laurie, a megachurch pastor whose Palm Sunday service was watched online by President Trump, says that amid the COVID-19 pandemic an increasing numbers of young people are starting to embrace the Gospel.
Due to the public health crisis that’s besetting the United States and other nations around the world, many churches have been livestreaming their services online as large physical gatherings are temporarily halted due to government-issued social distancing orders.
But the move to digital means of worship might portend a Great Awakening, according to Greg Laurie, the longtime pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, who wrote in an op-ed published in Newsweek on Tuesday that he and his team were pleasantly surprised to see that their first week of shifting services to online-only drew over 250,000 viewers and has been growing ever since.
“Last week, we had over a million people tune in for church. These are people literally from all around the world, from every age and background, who are missing church. So, to the best of our ability, we are bringing church to them. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of them are people whom marketers would refer to as the ‘target demographic’ between the ages of 18 and 34.”
Ever since the shutdown began, viewership among millennials has increased 235%, he said.
Churches have been attempting to reach younger generations with the Gospel for decades, seemingly in vain, Laurie elaborated, highlighting the plethora of news stories and surveys in recent years about declining church attendance and the rise of the “nones” — those who never have or no longer affiliate with any particular religious tradition.
But the worldwide coronavirus outbreak has fundamentally changed the environment.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter