“"COVID-19 vs Christian Growth - God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power..." ”
Within a matter of weeks Pastors went from having full (small and large) congregations who attended worship services (members and non-members), whom they cared for on a daily basis until Corona Virus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected the world. Churches are suddenly closed and fear of the unknown are on the rise, including anger and divide. People are required to social distancing and quarantine in some parts of the United States and the world. How do the church move forward from the emotional distress from the pandemic and move Christians closer to Christ? In this pastor study project, we will explore behavioral change, and the stage of change using the Transtheoretical Model that analyzes six stages of change. By studying change will improve the effectiveness of the new tools the church is using including social media and live streaming, which is new to some congregations. We will explore the effectiveness of innovative ways churches are using to reach their congregations. How will the church and pastors continue to evolve during this pandemic to provide hope to the hopeless and encouragement for the homeless, and belief for the brokenhearted? The purpose of this project is to provide guidance to pastors from a public health professional and pastoral point of view to sustain and grow the church; and to continue to build the body of Christ during and after COVID-19 pandemic while keeping safe and effective. This study will also summarize the lessons learned and how the church will move forward by developing or enhancing wellness and crisis management ministries within the church.