What life will be like in the post-Covid reality is a big topic everywhere we go. In a recent conversation with Grover Bradford, one of our credentialled ministers, he shared some of the things he is hearing. He has been connecting with pastors and asking the question, “What is next; relationally, and community wise? And, are you as confused as the rest of us?”
As the reality continues to sink in that things in our churches may never return to what they were before, Grover notes peoples’ reactions seem to fall into three broad categories:
1. The Early Adaptor Type
Those who see new potential for what is to come.
2. The confused
Those who don’t know what they are supposed to feel and are reacting with a mixture of fear, confusion, and a little excitement.
3. The fearful
A few who are living in fear of what the future may hold.
“Covid has flipped the church on its head,” says Grover. “Now, it is more than ever apparent that the church is people, not buildings and programs. When the pandemic struck and programs shut down and buildings had to close, people could no longer depend on programs to bolster their faith. They have had to figure out their faith on their own.”
Sadly, Grover reports that not all were up to the challenge and some have shelved their faith altogether. Others are holding out hope that all will return to the way things were.
Nevertheless, there are also inspiring stories being told. Even though they suffered loss, dark days, and in some cases saw what had been defining them slip away, many have come through it all finding that having Jesus made all the difference. One person said, “I am better than ever before.”
Conversations have it that we are in the midst of transformational change in the church. “Whether the masses will return, we do not know. The forms in use for the last 50-60 years may disappear and the use of technology is here to stay.” Of the future, Grover reminds us,
“In spite of our current challenges as the church, we are to remain as Kingdom people driven by the hope Jesus gives.”
“I am 100% excited for the future of the church, but we may not recognize it,” he goes on to say. He speculates that in time, the church may become more like the early church, more marginal, deeply involved in community development and working to alleviate the societal ills of the day.
All of this leaves us with questions we cannot answer. Despite the size of our church or our personal situation, God is still on mission, as He has always been. He will involve us if we are willing. And, if we find ourselves in a difficult spot, as Lynn Dietz affirmed in the lead article in this newsletter, Finding Rivers in the Desert: “God has led us in, He will lead us through and He will lead us out! And this is to His Glory!”
Editor’s Note: Grover Bradford is an Ordained Minister with The EMCC serving as a Pastor in a Christian Academy in Calgary.
This article is featured in the Fall 2021 edition of The EMCC Together newsletter.
Download a PDF copy of the newsletter and view previous EMCC Together publications here.