Introduction by Ken Howard
In some ways, it seems like we’ve spent an eternity of waiting since Covid-19 forced our congregations to close. Yet in other ways, it seems like too many things to change in too little time. Regardless of denomination or religion, it seems like a tsunami swept away all our normal ways of congregational life in a second, leaving us all to re-think, re-engineer, and rapidly iterate almost everything. It almost seems like God is making use of these “Covid Times” through which we are navigating to re-shape us as congregations, cutting off all our talking about all the ways our faith communities needed to change if they were to survive (let alone thrive), and telling us to get on with it.
FaithX will soon launch a new research-based series of blog posts about how congregations are adapting in order to carry out their mission (not just online worship, but the full spectrum of what faith communities are called to be and to do). Posting on a roughly monthly basis, we will be focusing on the experiments churches have tried (or are currently trying), what’s working, what’s not, what’s showing promise, and how leaders and congregants are holding up under pressure, with the intent of grounding our observations in data. Where research has been done in various areas of congregational life, we will curate it. Where research has left undone, we may actually do it, either formally or as action research. Most of our research blog posts will be authored by FaithX’s research director, Darren Slade, and executive director, Ken Howard, with Dr. Slade providing research analysis and Ken providing a pastoral perspective
Most importantly, we want this series to be relevant and useful to faith leaders, both ordained and lay. And so we are asking our readers what they want to know.
So tell us what you want to know about how congregations are adapting to provide fellowship, pastoral care, community outreach, spiritual formation, stewardship, leadership development, and yes, even worship… Or something completely different.
Send your suggested research ideas and/or how your congregation is adapting to COVID to FaithX Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And watch this space!