How the Virus Impacted Worship
Since mid-March, the coronavirus has been infecting people with the respiratory illness COVID-19 in Arkansas; making in-person worship service a challenge.
As the virus kept spreading, the state began placing restrictions on businesses, closed schools, and cancelled large gatherings.
The State of Arkansas also recommended churches suspend in-person worship service.
With that recommendation, New St. James Sr. Pastor Cortez Stegall made the difficult decision to suspend in-person worship.
But, on April 5 the church turned to an alternative worship experience through conference call. Since then, the church has averaged about 50 people each Sunday calling in and worshiping with us.
Also, since then, the church has expanded its alternative worship experiences with daily prayer calls, Bible study conference calls, and phoned Mission Meetings.
However, around early May, the State of Arkansas reversed began easing restrictions on businesses, schools, and gatherings. Also, churches were given guidance on how they could hold in-person service, if they chose.
Stegall had originally planned to be back in the sanctuary in mid-June, but made the decision to continue holding service through conference call as virus cases continued to climb.
Is Reopening In-Person Worship Wise?
Some churches in Arkansas and across the country decided to open up and embrace recommended guidance by state and federal health officials.
Others have ignored those recommendations and continued with “business as normal.”
Then some, like New St. James, continued with alternative methods of worship, such as conference calling, video meetings, or drive-in services.
The coronavirus has impacted how churches worship and it has made congregations and their leadership question how they should proceed with leading more souls to Christ.
Are churches showing their lack of faith in God by refusing to have in-person worship? Are churches who are having in-person worship testing God?
What do you think? Watch the video below from Allen Parr of The Beat YouTube channel and leave your comments below.