We’ve now been dealing with COVID for almost seven months. While churches have done a great job of quickly pivoting to respond to this crisis, congregations and their leaders are getting tired. Here are some evidences of the COVID-19 weariness:
- Pastors are often discouraged and weary. I can’t tell you how often I hear of another pastor who’s just burned out from this ongoing problem. They’re just tired.
- Churches that haven’t regathered are growing tired of waiting. Some members, in fact, are visiting other churches until their home churches gather again. They may or may not return to their home church.
- Small group participation by Zoom, in many cases, is waning. We’re all just tired of seeing each other only on a computer screen. It was a great tool at the beginning, but not so much inviting anymore.
- Smaller crowds are getting discouraging. At first, we were glad just to be gathering again, and we didn’t worry about the numbers. Folks are still returning, but those who were accustomed to preaching to much larger crowds are beginning to wonder what the future holds.
- Church squabbles are beginning to rise again. We put them on the back burner when COVID required unity and focus, but I’m beginning to hear of more internal conflicts coming to the surface again.
- Parents are growing tired of their church’s delay in re-starting children’s ministries. After all, their kids are often back in school in person – so why can’t the church do the same? Their families aren’t returning to church until that happens.
- “Mask frustration” is becoming more vocal. Even those folks who didn’t like it were often willing to wear a mask when their church first re-gathered, but now they’re letting their opposition be known.
- General weariness coupled with political debates is leading to church division. The perfect storm of COVID plus a volatile political season hasn’t helped with unity in the church. We may even see church splits over some of these issues.
- More members are verbally challenging the church’s faith if they continue to proceed with great caution due to COVID. Few people expressed that concern early in COVID, but now they are. People of faith, they say, should never surrender to fear.
- Some pastors are ready to relocate as soon as God opens the door. They delayed conversations and interviews during the early days of COVID, but now they’re ready to start the process again. COVID has only increased their weariness with their current congregation.
What evidences would you add?