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A Church Leader’s Guide to Preaching in a Pandemic

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People everywhere continue to undergo lifestyle changes as we adapt to the new normal the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic created. Since this health crisis began, health and state officials have encouraged us to wear masks, self-isolate, and stay home, especially if we aren’t feeling well.

This pandemic requires those who can work, go to school, and perform other duties online to prevent large gatherings and reduce the spread of the virus. Additionally, the coronavirus is impacting the ability to have public worship. Across the United States, pastors and church leaders try to preach to their congregations and stay connected to their church members amid the pandemic. Some churches hold drive-in worship services to keep members and staff safe, while others choose to conduct services entirely online.


By taking the actions listed below, leaders of churches that continue to have public services or those that temporarily closed their places of worship and conduct services remotely can continue preaching and staying in touch with congregants during the pandemic.

Follow Safety Procedures

To safely hold church services and preach during the pandemic, follow the guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Scale up your church’s operations by providing protections for congregants and staff members with underlying health issues and are high-risk for contracting COVID-19 or other severe illnesses.

Consider preaching abbreviated sermons to minimize the time spent in your sanctuary. Another option is to record or live-stream your preaching for church members to enjoy from home. Wearing a clergy shirt and filming a sermon in the sanctuary or a home office to distribute to congregants allows everyone to receive the message they need safely. Clergy members can get clergy collars and clerical shirts with long sleeves or short sleeves in a variety of colors from Cokesbury. This leading Christian store provides high-quality supplies to support the Christian journey.

Address Congregants’ Needs

Survey data from the American Psychiatric Association reveals that nearly 48 percent of Americans feel anxious about getting coronavirus. An estimated 40 percent of Americans are anxious that the coronavirus will make them seriously ill or cause their death. Most Americans—approximately 62 percent—are nervous at the thought of a family member or loved one getting the virus. For many people, COVID-19 creates mental health concerns; statistics show that one in four individuals seeking help for mental health concerns consult faith leaders before turning to clinical professionals.

To care for your church members and their needs, consider basing your sermon on verses that apply to and can provide comfort during any natural disaster, storm, attack, war, or other times of uncertainty—like those from the eighth chapter of Romans.


Another way to address the needs of your church members is to call and check in on them. Depending on the church’s size, it can be a tall order for one pastor or leader to contact everyone on the membership roster. Leaders of medium-sized churches or mega-churches should consider organizing a health and welfare communications team of a few members to reach out to and check on congregants.

Utilizing technological solutions typically used by businesses, customer service teams, and contact centers can help church leaders and team members efficiently contact several church members. The unique omnichannel contact center software offered by Bright Pattern, for instance, equips organizations with excellent outbound calling and inbound call answering services that enable them to communicate and connect with numerous people. The advanced features of Bright Pattern’s innovative call center solution allow organizations to seamlessly connect with callers through phone calls, live chats, SMS, email, and other communication platforms.

Just as businesses can implement such technology to enhance customer interactions and increase customer satisfaction, churches and religious organizations can form a contact team and use robust software to minister to and stay in contact with church members amid this pandemic.