A new report from The Barna Group shows COVID-19’s impact on church congregations in the United States.
When comparing pastors’ responses from the start of the pandemic in April to now, the number of U.S. pastors concerned for the spiritual and relational wellbeing of their congregants has increased – more than the number concerned for vocational, physical, or financial wellbeing. Emotional wellbeing was another significant concern but did not see an increase over the last several months.
But why have American Christians’ spiritual and relational needs specifically increased?
Ron Hutchcraft with Ron Hutchcraft Ministries offers some perspective with a metaphor: “Floods will sometimes show that the wall wasn’t built high enough or there’s been a weakness in the materials used in the levee. Now, you could say the storm caused that. But in many more ways, a storm just revealed the weaknesses and the needs that were there all the time.
“For many, many years, I’ve talked to the people who have been silently drowning emotionally at church…. I think this storm…has revealed some things that have been in the dark that have been affecting our relationships.”
As the world continues to socially-distance, Christians are learning what it means to live out our faith with each other and with God. So it’s understandable that those areas are taking the hardest toll.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask the Holy Spirit to convict and encourage the areas of your life that require growth this year.
- Pray for opportunities to support someone else in your community.
- Talk to a trusted friend, counselor, or pastor about what you are struggling with today.