We’re on the front side of the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing is certain: the church is going to be different on the other side of this.
What will the church and Sunday School look like in the days ahead? Although no one knows the future, I believe the church’s Sunday School ministry (substitute whatever word your church uses for its Bible teaching ministry) will change in 5 ways:
- Cleanliness of classrooms and facilities is going to become much more important. Parents are going to be more cautious and alert to the cleaning practices of the church, as will most members and guests. Sterilization of rooms will be of paramount importance. The church will even feature their cleaning plan to people in the church’s potential new member class. The church of the future that attracts new members will be the one that excels in making classrooms clean.
- Groups are going to be more highly valued than ever. While there has been an emphasis on “the big room” in recent days, churches are going to emerge on the other side of COVID-19 with a new appreciation for small groups of believers in community together. While worship is highly important, small groups are the glue that hold the church together – whether times are normal or times of crisis. Worship attenders are going to be strongly encouraged to connect with a smaller Bible study group.
- Teachers are going to be more technologically savvy. Even on the front side of COVID-19, teachers are quickly learning new ways to go online and stay connected to their group members. Can you imagine what this will look like when COVID-19 has passed?! Teachers and group leaders will be increasingly more comfortable with digital communication, and the use of technology in and out of the classroom. Churches will dedicate more resources to outfit classrooms with monitors and data ports that group leaders can use to teach.
- There will be a shift to digital curriculum. Because COVID-19 created social distancing, isolation, and sheltering, church leaders scrambled to provide Bible study resources to members. In our post-COVID-19 world, teachers and church leaders are going to see the value of digital curriculum that can go anywhere and be used on any kind of mobile device or computer.
- We will continue to be more compassionate to outsiders. One good thing to come out of COVID-19 is a renewed emphasis on being compassionate to people who are not connected to the church. How many times have you heard someone implore you to reach out to the elderly, or a neighbor you haven’t gotten to know, just to make sure they didn’t have an unmet need? For many people, this is the first time they’ve intentionally reached out to others in Jesus’ name. That will continue in our post-COVID-19 world.
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