The pandemic held up a mirror to the American church. Congregations that rarely stepped back to evaluate their endless calendars of events were forced to assess whether their ministry models reflected the mandates given by Christ and the example of the early church. For many congregations, what they saw in the mirror was not pretty.

One East Coast pastor gave a common assessment.

“We’re not really as open and involved in the community as we could be, as we should be. I see nice little buildings. I see fancy decorations outside on the lawns, manicured perfectly, and the steeple is still bold and standing. I just think that as a household of God, there’s so much more we could do.”

For many, COVID-19 became a catalyst for change, an opportunity to recalibrate rhythms and fall in better alignment with the church we are called to be in Scripture.

Based on Chapter 6 of the report, in this episode host Aaron Hill (editor of ChurchSalary) sits down with two researchers from the Arbor Research Group, Ebonie Davis and Terry Linhart, to talk about how the pandemic pushed some churches to venture outside the walls of their church building in new and exciting ways. Featuring an in-depth interview with Dan Nold, a lead pastor of a multisite church who leveraged the pandemic to launch a monthly “Church Without Walls” Sunday, where instead of gathering for worship at church, members venture out and minister to their neighbors.

Hosted by Aaron Hill, editor of ChurchSalary

“COVID and the Church” is produced in conjunction with the Arbor Research Group and funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. through a grant from the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders (ECFPL) initiative.

Executive produced by Aaron Hill, Terry Linhart, and Matt Stevens

Director for CT Media is Matt Stevens

Audio Engineering, Editor, and Composer is Tyler Bradford Wright

Artwork by Ryan Johnson