The new norm may have caught so many churches napping and gasping for breath, especially those who haven’t embraced technology that enables them to carry out their services virtually. The new norm is a virtual church where there is no physical contact. Every church must enhance its virtual church; put systems in place that enable connectivity with members. Church has gone out of the four walls into the virtual world. Millions of people are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms at any given time, and more people can be reached this way today. A new norm is a place where every pastor must step out of their comfort zones and use technology in a way they have never done before. Technology is the way forward, and the new normal; gone are the days where sermons are preached to their local congregation alone. Research has shown that there are more people online listening to sermons and attending churches virtually in recent times than ever before.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about social behavioral changes than ever before.
People who ordinarily would never have gone to church in places such as the Middle East are now able to participate mostly secretly and without suspicion of family members and friends. Regardless of the location, the Internet has reduced the world to a global village, and it is time for churches to think, plan, and carry out services with a global mindset. The Great Commission Christ gave the church, in the first place, is to go into the furthest parts of the world and preach the gospel. Technology has made our job easier, but we must equip ourselves now for the tasks ahead. The new norm requires a rethink of everything we have done as the body of Christ before now. Every church must be able to reach and care for people beyond the four walls of the physical church. Social media is the world’s new market place where so many souls can be won and cared for spiritually. It requires a lot of creativity and useful content that is engaging and meets the needs of the people. This may never replace the care provided in a physical church building, but it helps to draw people to the church that ordinarily may not have come to the church prior to encountering the church online.
The pandemic has made companies rethink the way they do business and how their employees carry out their tasks. Are they better done at home than in the office? Many employers have new attitudes about this. Before the lockdown, when the companies pondered, maybe their workers remotely work from home? But a few weeks later, plans were in top gear of how to get employees to stay at home and perform their responsibilities. Many would like to work from home more often after the crisis, and others say the ability to work at home will be a factor when they next seek a new job. This is part of the new norm and because most people don’t know for how long this will last or when it will actually be safe to stop being socially distant from others. Teachers, Lawyers, and so many other disciplines would have to work differently from their regular schedules before the pandemic. Almost every school or academic work has been converted to online. This requires the teacher to do more to have all materials online. The students would have to study three times harder. Everyone in the academic world (teachers and students) would have to also do a big rethink in the new norm.
The church must embrace a global mindset that attaches greater value to caring for people.
The African-styled pentecostal church appears to be the worst hit in a society that leads the world in technology. SomeAfrican-styled pentecostal churches operate in ways that do not embrace the society we live in. There are hardly any African-styled pentecostal churches in the United States with other races, tribes, or ethnicity. Several of these churches are run as though they are based in remote places of Africa. Only a handful of these churches were prepared for Covid-19 and this new era. There are so many changes that have to be made in this new era. It is time for the African-styled pentecostal churches to operate with a global mindset, use technology for their services, do services and activities that will attract people of other ethnicities, tribes, cultures, and races to their churches. If the church operates with a global mindset, which is beyond singing only Nigerian songs and doing services as though this is a Nigerian based church, it must attach more value to caring for people differently. People will not have issues paying their tithes and offerings even in this time for those who are still employed, but the church must stay connected with its members, care for them and be a light in these dark times.
The new normal for companies, governments, employees, and students are to find ways of doing what we do on a daily basis remotely and individually sometimes. The new world order is to find ways to do everything smarter. It may be hard to build houses, roads, etc. remotely, but observing social distancing is no choice for everyone.
The days are also here for everyone to think critically before spending money on anything. The new norm is to eliminate all the wants and focus on the needs. The needs also ought to be streamlined in the most careful ways. This generation will go down in history as one that fought the pandemic fiercely but the only lingering question and concern is, did we prepare well enough for this pandemic in case of future recurrence. And in every industry and every sphere of life, be it private, government or public sector, there has to be a rethink of the way things were done before the pandemic.