Ever since the COVID-19 breakout, everyone was forced to adapt to a new way of life. What was considered normal was now seen as dangerous. Churches all over the world had to adjust: this is how the local churches of Bridgeway Community Church and Bethany UMC responded to the pandemic.
“Covid-19 affected local churches in a major way. It totally limited in-person gatherings, (worship, communion, baptisms, music ministry, children/youth, even the time of fellowship after most services). Covid-19 has brought an awareness to the church of the necessity of being creative in connecting with people. Through the use of technology, more people are being reached with the gospel message.”- Pastor Richard Jones Sr.
“[We are] not used to online services, especially because we never had to rely on online services before. Still adapting to and learning. We relied on physical gatherings. We realized we have to adapt.”- Pastor Michael Kang
Any type of events that had physical contact had to be either rescheduled or canceled. A lot of church events were moved to social media such as YouTube or Zoom. This transition was not smooth as some did not have access to the internet and because of the unfamiliarity of online services.
“Recently, we started opening the church up for adults within the law. Vastly reduced attendance. Protocols and requirements. Online services are still happening to accommodate everyone. Large gatherings- outside only. Not indoors.”- Pastor Michael Kang
Fortunately, some churches have been able to reopen for physical services and events within the law.
“I think the church is being refined. I think the church is coming to a realization that a lot of things have been hidden because of routines. Hiding behind routines. Because the routines were broken, the hidden issues have surfaced. We have to believe that God can move in any way He wants. He reveals the traditions we relied on and that we cannot rely on it in this season.”- Pastor Michael Kang
“Lastly, it can also be a time to embrace these limitations, but also be willing to develop new ministries that impact even more people for the Kingdom of God. Through all of this, the church has seen God provide, protect, and direct.”- Pastor Richard Jones Sr.
Even in these times, God is still able to move. God has and will continue to provide as the church adapts to this pandemic.