Churches Gain Attention for Adapting to COVID-19 Challenges
Churches Gain Attention for Adapting to COVID-19 Challenges

Numerous Christian churches were featured in newspaper stories the past few days for how they are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the news stories noted that the churches are not meeting in-person but are coping by sharing their worship services via the Internet. Here are some of the churches that were featured:

Odon (Ind.) Christian Church (featured in the Times-Herald)—”With the restrictions, we are going to be doing our services online only,” noted pastor Micah Stephen. “Easter time we usually get much larger numbers into the church. We are kind of putting things on hold and trying to ride the wave until we can start getting back to normal.”

First Christian Church, Norfolk, Neb. (featured in the Norfolk Daily News)—Lead minister Tim DeFor said the church has livestreamed its services for some time but is reformatting services to fit into a one-hour time slot which will now be broadcast on News Channel Nebraska. Also, the church will begin sharing a daily devotion, Scripture reading, and prayer featuring a staff member with the congregation.

Lake Superior Christian Church, Marquette, Mich. (featured in the Mining Journal)—”Engaging with a camera versus engaging with an audience—people—is very different,” teaching pastor Justin Landis said. “It’s forced me to be energetic in a new way and a new form and communication style.” Said executive pastor Cory Eberhard, “These are times when the church and the people in the church need to step up.”

Owensboro (Ky.) Christian Church (featured in the Messenger-Inquirer)—”Obviously, . . . we feel gathering physically is best,” said OCC communications director Kegan DeWitt, “but having this avenue now, especially in a crisis pandemic, we still have the opportunity to care for people and inspire people.”

Pleasant Hill Christian Church, Petosi, Mo. (featured at ksdk.com)—The church has come up with a way to “celebrate Sunday service without breaking those social distancing guidelines.” PHCC is holding Sunday service at Starlite Drive-In theater. “We know the situation isn’t ideal,” the church said via a Facebook post, “but we are determined to keep a spirit of hope and not fear.”

Imbler Christian Church, La Grande, Ore. (featured in the Observer)—Bud Duncan, an elder at the church, said ICC already posts its sermons as podcasts, and that it considered streaming the service online. Instead, church leaders will hold smaller studies on Sunday mornings to comply with government recommendations. “. . . We’re [basically] going to have small groups. The five elders in the church will each host a small group, and if need be others can help out.”

First Christian Church, Brazil, Ind. (featured in the Brazil Times)—First Christian planned for a “Drive-In Church” starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, with senior minister Chris Gregg preaching atop a scissor lift and the audio broadcast via an FM transmitter. The Times wrote, “There will be music, communion, preaching, laughs, social distancing, and so much more.” At 11:15 a.m., FCC planned an online broadcast of a second worship service.

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