Retired pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, has predicted how church activities will look like in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic during an interview at the yearly conference, which was held virtually this year.
The 69-year-old, Tim Keller said, “Christian institutions are going to be faced with needing to do more with less,” according to The Christian Post. He noted that, following the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001, his church saw a 25% spike in attendance while having to operate with 25% less income because of a struggling economy.
He noted that people left New York City after they lost their jobs in the wake of the Islamist attack which is much like what we are experience in health sector right now.
“It’s the exact same thing [now],” he said. “All the churches I know are saying, ‘We have to do more with less. We have far more needs and we have less resources to do it.’
And so it means not only a new approach to stewardship but also thinking about what you spend your money on.”
Noting that between complete lockdowns and the release of vaccinations, there will be an “interim period” and after then, he said the church need to understand two keys: the church must be more innovative and its leaders have to be willing to “lead through sacrifice.”
“The church in general is going to have to spend more or less money on itself — that is, its own programs — and more money on people in need,” Keller explained. “And the only way to do that is to cut things that you’re doing right now.”
“Does it mean sacrificing part of your salary as a way of making sure that you’re able to meet needs in your community? I don’t know,” he continued. “But leadership happens through innovation and sacrifice, always. And we’re going to have to do both of these in the next year or two.”
There are a lot of things the church will have to put in place in the dealing with the post pandemic as this current situation has “rattled” human pride and sparked a lot of anxiety.
In Keller interview with Faith Angle Forum, he noted the impact, coronavirus is having on poor churches, particularly in New York City.
“A lot of the churches in poor communities, No. 1, they have a lot more deaths, because the people cannot work from home, and they are also living in much closer quarters,” said the pastor and author. “So I know relatively small churches that are having eight, nine, 10, 11 deaths.”
“And secondly,” Keller continued, “they can’t move everything online. They don’t have a livestream ability, the people very often don’t have the ability to do things at home, you know, WiFi, and all that sort of thing. And then worst of all, they’re unemployed.
So, I mean, there’s plenty of churches in which virtually everybody in the church lost their job.”