Church Planting Expert Shares Two Biggest Concerns Pastors Face in Post-Coronavirus Plague Church

Carey Nieuwhof, founding pastor of Connexus Church and host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, interviews Exponential CEO Todd Wilson for a podcast episode titled “The Future of Innovative Church Planting.” | Screenshot: Exponential

When it comes to the post-COVID church, church leaders’ two biggest concerns are how to engage in disciple-making in a virtual context and “the whole debate over new normals,” a church-planting expert said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has “thrown 100% of churches” into chaos over the last six months — and “there is a new normal coming,” Exponential CEO Todd Wilson told Carey Nieuwhof, founding pastor of Connexus Church and host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast.

“The question is, who’s going to shape it? What is it? And if only one and a half percent of churches are the pioneering mapmakers for that new normal, who should we even be listening to and watching? What are the trends?”

According to Wilson, “What is church” is “going to become “one of the key questions coming out of COVID,” as the digital way many are currently worshiping is “more of a missionary impulse for evangelism.”

“Personally, I’m predicting it’s going to become more of a debate, not less as we move into the future,” he said on the podcast episode, titled “The Future of Innovative Church Planting.” “It seems like the new normal is going to involve greater digital than pre-COVID … All of a sudden, churches are going to think about, ‘Why do I even have a physical building? Why do I need it? Why not be completely digital?’”

“At some point, we’ve got to go through that question of, ‘What, physically, is church?”

Currently, money “drives” the model of the church in the United States. However, COVID-19 has disrupted the predominant church model, Wilson said.

“If the future is … either digital or micro, … how do you fund that model?” he asked.

“I actually think it’s the elephant in the room right now, that if we’re looking into a future [that is] more digital and more people not coming back to physical church, … how do you fund that model when it’s got a well-established funding model?”

Because many churches are still unable to meet in person, church leaders are struggling with how to engage in disciple-making in a virtual context, Wilson said. The future church will also be challenged with maintaining community and building relationships.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett