The Post-Quarantine Church
By Thom S. Rainer (Tyndale)
As many churches transition from the state of crisis management precipitated by COVID-19 into a new normal, church leaders are beginning to wonder what life should look like when the pandemic moves from the front pages to the history books. How many of the changes demanded by the coronavirus should remain in place? In what areas can the church “get back to normal?” And was the old normal even working?
In The Post-Quarantine Church, Church Answers Founder and CEO Thom S. Rainer argues the pandemic should serve as a wake-up call—an opportunity for churches to take stock of weaknesses in the way they operated before COVID-19, lean into changes prompted by the pandemic, and reorient for a post-COVID ministry environment. Things never will be the same, he says. So, it’s time for churches to start thinking less about getting “back to normal” and more about changing what is considered normal.
The two areas where Rainer focuses his attention are digital ministry and facility usage, both of which he says COVID-19 forced many churches to rethink. Churches that previously had little more than a website now are contending with online giving, livestreaming worship services and ministering via social media. These changes should not be considered temporary, but permanent fixtures of 21st century ministry, according to Rainer. As for facility usage, he says the pandemic reminded churches that, while the church is not the building, the building does matter. Wise churches will look for creative ways to open their facilities to the community and be better stewards of their property.
The Post-Quarantine Church is an eminently practical resource for church leaders, the kind of book that should inspire some big-picture conversations about churches’ future, as well as offer a few workable ideas. Rainer has given churches a gift with this book, and both churches and their surrounding communities will benefit if they read and learn from it.
Daniel Camp, pastor
South Garland Baptist Church