Faith

Megachurch Cancels In-Person Services for the Year

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With some churches champing at the bit to get back to normal, an Atlanta megachurch made a surprise announcement about their in-person services.

North Point Church in Atlanta posted online that it would suspend its in-person services for the remainder of the year!

It’s the first church I’ve heard of so far making plans that far ahead. And I think they’re unquestionably making the right decision.

The New York Times recently reported houses of worship “are now emerging as sources of major clusters.” It said states like Alabama, Kansas and West Virginia reported outbreaks at churches there.

I’ve seen too many Christians come up with ridiculous reasons to ignore the threat of COVID-19. I’ve mentioned a handful of them over the past few weeks since the pandemic began.

My parents’ church is trying to reinstate in-person services as hard as they can. My parents, however, tell me they won’t be going back anytime soon. At least they see the risk.

But this particular church in Atlanta is a little bit different. Yes, I said it’s a megachurch. How mega? Well, among its multiple campuses, it claims more than 40,000 attendees.

I’d call that mega.

Pastor Andy Stanley said canceling the face-to-face worship wasn’t an easy decision. But he said the numbers were no longer moving in the right direction.

“Consequently, we cannot guarantee your safety and that is a big part of this decision,” he said.

He also pointed out a problem I hadn’t thought of. If someone tested positive, the church would have to do the contact tracing, which he says would be impossible. I imagine it would be given their size.

I wish more churches — and other organizations — would take this pandemic as seriously. Maybe if more people would, it’d be over sooner and we wouldn’t have some states considering closing things down again.

Stay safe. Wear your mask. And worship online. We’re all safer that way!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.