'Nearly nine out of ten evangelicals (87%) were attending church on at least a semi-regular basis prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. Among churchgoers, 89% stopped attending for at least a short time due to the pandemic, and more than three out of four viewed church services online as one of the substitutes for in-person attendance.
"We found that 45% of those who experienced online church services now believe that worship online is equal or superior to the in-person experience in at least one of the eight areas we explored." The two areas in which online viewing was most likely to have a perceived advantage were their personal comfort (26% said online viewing is superior to in-person attendance in this area) and their ability to experience different churches (24%). Where evangelicals are most likely to see in-person church as the superior experience is in their level of connection/engagement with the church (81%), having an authentic worship experience (73%), the music/singing (69%), and the ability to give the service their full attention (67%).
"One of the most fascinating and potentially important findings is how many evangelicals took the opportunity to 'digitally visit' other churches, even though their own church was streaming services," says Ron Sellers, President of Grey Matter Research & Consulting. "One has to wonder whether this will ultimately lead to 'church nomads' who surf the internet for new church experiences rather than putting down roots and becoming part of a church community."' - Infinity Concepts
These would all be concerning trends if we were dealing with the actual church of believers in Jesus Christ. We are not. I know of not one born again believer who attends a church that preaches the uncompromised gospel of Jesus Christ that is remotely considering leaving their family for the online experience. Not one. You see the pandemic exposed something. It revealed that the church that stands at the pulpit in America each week was not actually the real church. The pastors were the hirelings and hucksters the bible warned us about. Even formerly respected names like John MacArthur or Jack Hibbs were exposed as being part of the same corrupt mega-church system that breeds Bethel and IHOP. Sure, Johnny Mac will vehemently disagree with Charismaniacs but there he was being interviewed by Stephen Strang, who gushed over his stance against the government of California. This pandemic gave the church an opportunity to be the church. To be that shining city on a hill. To meet the needs of their communities in different forums and with different methods. They could have streamed services, held smaller prayer services that comported to local ordinances, fed the sick, clothed the naked, tended to the sick and dying. They did none of that. They did not even try. Instead they cried that the government was picking on them. They whined that they were being canceled by the big bad lefty bullies. They stopped having services and because that was all they ever were about, they stopped being the church. The truly sad thing about this article from Infinity Concepts is their overarching question is if they are witnessing the great falling away when they are the great falling away. COVID 19 did not start the great apostasy, it revealed it has been going on all this time in plain sight.
'"Our findings show that only 44% of evangelical Protestants who viewed services online want to return exclusively to in-person worship once the pandemic is over," Dreistadt noted. "That means 56% would at least like to keep their options open in the future. That's 21 million evangelical adults." This desire raises a lot of strategic questions for churches. If online becomes an accepted option for many evangelicals, how will that impact giving? How will it impact Sunday school, youth and children's programs, and other traditionally in-person activities that may not be available online? What will happen with smaller churches that may not have a high-quality streaming service, or even any at all?' - Infinity Concepts
Strategic questions for the church? This is what led to the apostasy to begin with! Stop analyzing! Stop scheming! Stop allowing the goats to determine how much the sheep are fed! Stop designing church for people who think the things of God are foolishness while blessedly subtracting out those who care about biblical accuracy and adherence. The reason why 56% (and I think that number is much higher) want to keep their options open is the apostate church never gave them a reason to come back! For what? When you spend each week minimizing the bible why would anyone listen to you about not forsaking the fellowship? That verse is in Hebrews! When was the last time a Joel Osteen preached from Hebrews? When your faux worship industry creates songs about how great we are, why would the concept of corporate worship matter to anyone?
Do not lose sight of what the real question is here that Infinity is asking. It is not about Sunday school, youth programs, or the budgets of smaller churches. This is about money. How will losing over 50% of your in person gathering affect giving? I know the answer! It will cripple it as it did last year when COVID hit. It is the reason why the MacArthurs and Hibbs started whining about the Stephen Strang boogeyman of governmental overreach. The truth is that the in person apostate church services barely get anyone to tithe regularly anyway. How much less so when they are home and can browse other online services on a whim? The purpose driven church model requires in person services. It is the organizing feature of the scam. It is what creates the cult of personality preacher paradigm. Without that hour and a half on Sundays, all of that is gone. All of the purpose driven metrics are based on church attendance and giving. Without them, there is no next big book deal. There are no international leadership conferences. So, make no mistake about it beloved. The apostate church is declaring war on the very people God would want us to preach the gospel to and be that shining city on a hill for. They are whining and pitching a fit over perceived grievances that they created in their own minds. No one has been picking on churches. The government just said they could not have large public gatherings and without that ability, they had nothing left to offer. It is like the day that Bethel Church canceled all hospital visits for their healing teams moving forward because of COVID. Bethel is a huge proponent of the heresy that says God always must heal and as such, they used to send people down to local hospitals to pray for healing with the sick. Admirable until they pulled everyone for COVID. Just another fake ministry exposed by the pandemic.
Can you imagine what would have happened if the apostate church behaved like the real church when COVID hit? They would have welcomed the cessation of large services to keep people safe. They would have worked with their local governments instead of trashing them publicly and disobeying the law. They could have catered smaller service types in accordance with local authorities, so everyone was on the same page. They could have continued to visit hospitals to pray for those dying from this pandemic. They could have offered hope to the unsaved through various online and streaming opportunities. They could have ensured that all of their congregants had the proper technology and triaged their medical and food needs through direct outreach, you know, like the bible says we ought to. They could have partnered with their local and national doctors to be part of the global solution instead of sowing wild eyed conspiracy theories and medical disinformation, showing not only their ignorance but their arrogant disregard for the health of the very sheep the Lord entrusted to them. They could have been centers of vaccine distribution instead of centers of vaccine lies. All the while explaining at every turn how comforting it is to have Jesus Christ in their lives during these times. The acceleration of the gospel could have exploded across this earth with the revival they all so desperately chase and will never find. What could have been.
Instead we have Stephen Strang and his band of not so merry dominionists grumbling about how badly they are being picked on by the evil secularists who had the temerity to ask them to shut up for once and actually be the church. Too much to ask. Now we march into and uncertain future with the apostate church playing the victim and armed for war. God help us all.
Reverend Anthony Wade - September 30, 2021