Jonathan Brooks, the senior pastor at Canaan Community Church in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, says that he has pastor friends whose churches are still meeting, in spite of Illinois’ coronavirus meeting bans, “which totally bewilders me.”
“But it's because of the giving. It's because if they don't physically have church, they won't get any money and their budget is not so that they can miss a Sunday,” said Brooks. “And so it’s such a conundrum, it’s such a quandary. Some folks just stop having church completely because they don't have anybody around them that can help them navigate this new way of being.”
While Brooks’ church has been able to meet digitally, he recognizes that few in his congregation have the opportunity to move their work online.
“To be honest with you, this is a white-collar pandemic. It's not a blue-collar pandemic,” he said. “The folks who serve us all and make things run still have to go to work, which is the majority of my congregation.”
Brooks joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss how Canaan has navigated online giving, how he has injected creativity into his online Holy Week services, and what it’s like when your congregation says “Amen” over Zoom.
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