However, changes made during the stay-home orders to bring worship to congregations may be here to stay.
“It has offered a new way of doing evangelism,” said Jeff Lundblad, pastor of Eastwood Baptist Church.
Coming together in a place of worship has long been the model for faith-based organizations. However, with so many places of worship unable to conduct in-person services until this week due to the coronavirus shutdown- live streaming is finding a permanent place for some local churches.
“It’s become a new way of connecting with people and frankly it’s being embraced by our seniors in ways that I’m really surprised by,” said Lundblad.
At Eastwood Baptist Church in Medford, they were opening a live stream platform before the state shutdown.
Since then, they tell us they’ve seen a steady commitment by the congregation to tune in online. Donations haven’t decreased significantly either.
However, many churches like Eastwood agree nothing can substitute worshiping together.
“That’s what’s being missed,” said David Prince, pastor at Grace Point Fellowship. “So even though we can convey the message successfully online it’s not the same experience.”
The Fellowship in downtown Medford has been providing online worships for the last year. They tell us it works well for their congregation. The one downside, they say, is showing the fellowship of the congregation through a screen.
“Almost without exception everybody from church leaderships that I’ve spoken to they can’t wait to get back to as close as we can get to before we were shut down back in March,” said Prince.
But many agree, worship may never be quite the same as it was before and the advancements of online worship will have a larger place among many organizations in the years to come.
Churches NBC5 News spoke with plan on holding Sunday services this weekend in-person.
However, they tell us it’ll be under state guidelines and people will have to social distance.