COVID hit us all in the back. We did not see it coming. We were not ready for it. Elders and preachers quickly scrambled to apply the Scripture to the warnings and new regulations given by medical and governing officials. Some congregations closed their doors, but many tried to remain open by using a combination of social media and limited observance at the building; a very few continued to assemble in a traditional manner. I am not passing judgment on any of these actions during the months of March-May. We did the best we could with the information given. We are now six months beyond the initial wave of COVID, and once again we find ourselves having to make decisions as the second wave hits, but this time we are much more prepared!
Our pre-COVID numbers on evangelism were horrific. In short, we have been bleeding church members for more than forty years. . . Our post-first-wave COVID numbers are catastrophic. As congregations turned out or dimmed their lights, evangelism plummeted. Now many congregations are hemorrhaging church members. As we have traveled the country during the past year, we have seen anywhere from 25-50% decline in attendance. This cannot and must not continue.
As this second COVID wave hits congregations, what do we do? Recently, Wes Hazel, preacher at the Forrest Park church of Christ in Georgia, asked me to do an Advanced Evangelism Lesson on “Evangelism in the Age of COVID.” After the sermon, Wes said, “Rob, this is exactly what we needed; this needs to go kingdom-wide.”
Well, that is what we are trying to do. We ask that you listen to this sermon in hopes of helping Christians and congregations do a better job in dealing with COVID in relation to evangelism. In addition, share the video link, forward this email, and help spread the word. We know the gospel is greater and more powerful than COVID!
Serving our Lord,
Rob Whitacre, Director, HTHSOE