Report Finds Some Pastors Fear Their Churches Won’t Survive Coronavirus Pandemic Due to Financial Struggles and Challenges of Moving Services Online

(Photo: Unsplash/Gregory DALLEAU)

Finances and moving church online are just some of the areas that have added to the stresses of being a pastor during the pandemic, a new report has found.

The report, ‘Something Other Than a Building’, is based on interviews with 32 church ministers from across the island of Ireland and the spectrum of Christian denominations.

The interviews revealed that for some pastors, the pandemic has been marked by frequent headaches, insomnia, financial difficulties and fears for the future of their church.

Some ministers reported challenges in moving services online for the first time, with one Presbyterian in Northern Ireland struggling with the constant comparisons with other churches.

“Some people were trying to make a service; some people were trying to do Facebook; some people were sending out an audio; and then there is so much video,” the minister said.

“You find that even on the ground one church looks at a neighbouring church and is saying to the minister, ‘well if our neighbour is doing it that way, why can’t you do this?’ Which then would have actually put more pressure back on the local ministers.

“Maybe, it’s not their fault that they can’t do this, that the church doesn’t have the infrastructure that’s able to do that or the people technically to help them … This is the big downside of this video stuff, the competition.”

Another pastor spoke of the difficulty in trying to please everyone once churches were allowed to re-open for a while after the first lockdown.

“Especially planning returning to church, I was damned if I did and damned if I don’t,” they said.

“If I choose one day, it’s too late for some; if I choose another day, it’s too early for some. So, I think it’s just leadership.

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SOURCE: Christian Today

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