The sudden outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), declared by World Health Organization (WHO) as pandemic took many nations by surprise when they least expected it and prepared for it. Aside the daily escalating number of newly confirmed cases in the world; it was disturbing and very alarming to know that 14,778 souls (as at 23/03/2020) have perished already through the deadly disease.
To reduce the fast spread of this deadly coronavirus (COVID-19), many countries have shutdown their economy, restricted public movements and other economic activities. And now, the question is what are the effects or impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on churches and religious activities across the globe? In this short article, I will discuss the effects of COVID-19 on churches. When done reading, kindly comment to share your ideas with us.
11 Effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Churches & Religious Activities
- Loss of lives from the sickness will lead to loss of membership.
- Restricted movement and ban of public gatherings and worship may cause some infant Christians to backslide.
- A sharp decline in offertory due to ban on public gatherings will lead to financial crisis for churches and they may find it difficult to pay their pastors, staffs and monthly bills. Some churches have however, developed electronic means for committed members to pay their tithes and offerings regardless of ban on gatherings.
- Churches that have taken loans will find it difficult to meet their monthly payment plans to defray their debts since offertory may cease due to non public gatherings.
- Some churches, individuals and religious groups that have invested huge amounts of money to host big or international programs thinking they would have the money back have run into huge losses.
- Churches and pastors without strong social media presence will starve their members spiritually more especially if those members cannot feed on the word of God and grow on their own.
- Some carnal Christians may see the ban on public worship as license to mess around so long as no preacher will keep on hammering into their ears each week to desist from their shameful and sinful ways.
- A prolonged ban on public gathering and Christian worship due to the coronavirus may have dire consequences on Christianity. Some members may be lost when the pandemic is over. I will recommend that church leaders will have other means to keep in touch with their members in times like these.
- The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), though a global pandemic issue, is also a test of the Christians faith in the Lord. It is terrible and worst times that prove your faith in the Lord but not when everything is okay in your life. Be steadfast and immovable, abide and shine in the presence of the Lord even in hard times.
- The deadly Coronavirus disease has sent much fear and panic globally and people are hungry and thirsty for comfort, hope and solutions. The church is the right institution to offer people hope in times of hopelessness but there has been a ban on public gathering which is also affecting public Christian worship. Many churches and pastors that do not have strong media presence cannot reach many people with their message.
- Churches (temples) are closed but worshiping God is open any time. One of the things people need to understand is that, the word ‘church’ does not refer to the building where Christians gather to pray. Christians’ place of meeting to fellowship is called ‘temple’ while ‘church’ refers to the individual Christians called out to be sons and daughters of God. Pastors and church leaders must make their members understand through any platform available and possible to know that public gathering of believers may be closed but worshiping God is an individual affair that must be cultivated at home.
When you go on your knees to pray, pray for Christians worldwide; pray for the nations, the thousands of people dying without knowing Christ and the aftermath of the disease. Indeed, there are a lot of damaging effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on churches & religious activities.
Just as coronavirus came in silence so shall it leave in silence. God needs you alive to be His witnesses and testify of His love to the world. Stay blessed and be rapturable!