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The drive to reopen church buildings across the nation seems to be shedding momentum because of the surge of COVID-19 instances.
Pastor surveys by the Barna Group have discovered that the share of church buildings reporting a return to in-person worship fell from 56% in June to 49% in the newest survey. The Barna surveys, reported by Christianity Today, additionally confirmed that 5% of pastors now say their church buildings won’t resume in-person worship till 2021.
A earlier Barna survey discovered 0% of pastors anticipating their church buildings to stay shuttered for the remainder of this yr.
Among the church buildings planning to droop in-person worship for all of 2020 are the six places of North Point Ministries within the Atlanta space. In pre-coronavirus instances, greater than 30,000 individuals worshipped throughout the North Point church buildings every weekend.
Andy Stanley, the founding North Point pastor, introduced in May that his church buildings would reopen on Aug. 9, however in a video message despatched to his congregants this week, Stanley mentioned these plans needed to change.
“We’ve decided to suspend adult worship services for the remainder of the year,” Stanley mentioned in a sober tone of voice. He cited the “uptick” within the variety of coronavirus instances within the Atlanta space.
“Consequently, we cannot guarantee your safety,” Stanley mentioned.
“Even if we did reopen,” Stanley mentioned, “we certainly would not be able to create a quality adult or children’s worship experience with social distancing protocols in place.”
Some distinguished megachurch leaders, nevertheless, don’t intend to comply with Stanley’s instance.
“I’m not buying the gloom and doom,” mentioned Jack Graham, senior pastor at Prestonwood Baptist in Plano, Texas, and a distinguished evangelical supporter of President Trump.
“Starting school, opening churches and growing America’s economy is in motion,” Graham tweeted Thursday. “Positivity beats politics every time.”
Collin County, the place Graham’s church is positioned, as of this week had reported almost 5,000 novel coronavirus instances, a 20% enhance over the earlier week’s complete.