How Churches Are Navigating Easter During COVID-19
By: William Vanderbloemen April 2, 2020
In less than two weeks’ time, Christians around the world will celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. Often the highest attended Sunday each year, few would have ever thought that this Easter will look different than it ever has for the majority of believers. As COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly, with no signs of slowing down, we’ve already seen an incredible amount of innovation, ingenuity, and agility to bring church to people in creative ways and Easter will be no exception.
As we continue to bridge the gap between social distancing and the importance of gathering together as the body of Christ this Easter, there are two things we must remember and allow to frame the posture of our hearts.
1. Jesus is used to small and intimate
Though the circumstances were vastly different than what we are currently experiencing, the days preceding Christ’s resurrection found the Disciples sequestered and in hiding, fearful that the same authorities who crucified Jesus would soon be coming for them. He could have appeared anywhere, but instead, Jesus chose an intimate place where a small group of those who loved Him most were gathered together, much like most of us will be this Easter.
2. Forgoing in-person services doesn’t mean forgoing worship
We’ve long heard that church attendance isn’t what makes us Christian, but rather the daily pursuit of God. As believers, we should never stop worshiping because God is always worthy of our praise. Think about those in the persecuted church who have worshipped outside of a building for years. They are fully aware that it is people who make up the Church and that the Holy Spirit is no less active in these communities because of their inability to gather in a public place of worship. Thank God we live in a time where literally nothing can stop the body of Christ from coming together.
As we continue to provide resources to the Church during COVID-19, we’ve spoken to several pastors around the country who’ve shared their Easter plans with us. Here are just some of the responses.
1. Live Online Services
The majority of Churches we’ve talked to have moved to live Online Services via a myriad of streaming options including YouTube Live, Facebook Life and the Church Online Platform. For some, the service contains the same elements, while others have tailored their experiences towards a more intimate approach.
2. Pre-Recorded Services
Even though the majority of families are hunkered down together, we still want to give them the flexibility to make Easter happen in a way that works best for their family’s schedule. Pre-recording services allow Church teams to prepare ahead of time and foresee the unexpected.
3. Drive-In Church
Rather than choose an in-home option, several pastors we’ve spoken to will be offering drive-in church services where families can tune in to the message over the radio, while it’s broadcast to a screen. What better way to still gather physically as the body of Christ, while still honoring social-distancing guidelines?
4. Share Your Story Movement
In the middle of disruption, there's also an acceleration of the gospel. Across the country, there is an online movement to share your story of God's grace in your life on social media and YouTube with #JesusChangedMyLife in hopes that your testimony will encourage others to follow Christ and possibly attend an online Easter service. Jesus always went where the need was greatest. This is our time to follow his path to reach people looking for hope.
Regardless of what path you choose to take for your Church this Easter, we know that the Gospel stays the same and God honors our desire to make Him known however it may look. How is your church planning to gather this Easter? We’d love for you to share your ideas with us by commenting on one of our social media platforms.