Since the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, societies all over the world have been put under lockdown, forcing people, companies and communities to reinvent themselves to cope with the new reality.
Churches have been no exception, so they have kept the gates shut too. Many countries have reopened places of worship, while others have had to shut down again because of a second wave.
Because of the shutdowns and the rising number of COVID-19 patients across the globe, some American pastors now believe that they will not be able to do in-person sermons until 2021.
According to Christianity Today, the Christian polling firm Barna has found that 5% of the participating American pastors do not believe they will be able to host in-person sermons for the rest of the year.
The same survey was conducted in May, and back then, no one thought they would have to keep the churches shut until 2021.
The survey also showed that 49% of the pastors had their churches open this month, dropping from 56% in June.
18% following several congregations
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some churches have moved their sermons to the internet where believers have been able to participate from the comfort of their own homes.
Though it has worked out great for some congregations, Barna found that 32% of churchgoing Christians in the US have not participated in online services for the past month.
14% had switched churches, while 18% were participating in multiple online services each week.
Success in Christ Embassy
One of the congregations that has had a lot of success with online sermons is Christ Embassy, which is lead by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
The congregation has about 13 million followers all over the world with the majority based in Nigeria, the US, the UK, Canada and South Africa.
Pastor Chris hosted a Global Day of Prayer against the coronavirus with Pastor Benny Hinn on March 27th, which was watched by 3 billion people online.
After the prayer day, Chris Oyakhilome initiated a week of praying and fasting, and that has been extended time and time again. A new prayer week starts tomorrow, Monday, July 27th at 7 PM GMT+1 and can be streamed live on all LoveWorld networks.