Will People Come Back to Church After COVID-19 Is Over?

Churches that provide the best on-site experience will see their members come back after COVID-19. (Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash)

A question I've been asked over and over again recently, and it's important, is whether or not people will come back to church after COVID-19.

We've all heard that business will never be the same as more and more people are sent home to work remotely (which I think will be a good thing). And that's why thinking ahead and asking questions about how this challenge will impact churches for the long term is the big question for today.

First of all, when this is over, my hope is that a greater online experience will continue for all the churches livestreaming during this crisis. As my friend Dave Adamson says, "Pastors should stop talking about when churches reopen. Churches have never closed. We're just ministering to people in different ways."

I totally agree. However, Dave and I also understand the concern about gathering people back again for corporate worship. From that perspective, I believe the churches that rebound the best will be churches that provide a greater on-site experience.

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If a church is just about coming to hear a sermon or listen to a few songs, then yes—they can get that online, so the need to come back isn't very strong. But if it's an amazing experience beyond the sermon or worship songs, then I think they'll come back.

It's why I urge churches to work toward becoming the classic "third place" behind the home and office. That's the famous Starbucks strategy—to be the third place beyond home and office where people want to gather or meet.

And that place can be created in a variety of ways.

Phil Cooke has produced TV and film programming in more than 60 countries around the world, and in the process, been shot at, survived two military coups, fallen out of a helicopter and been threatened with prison in Africa. And during that time—through his company, Cooke Media Group, in Los Angeles, California—he's helped some of the largest Christian and nonprofit organizations in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.

For the original article, visit philcooke.com.

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