THE INFLUENCE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON THE GROWTH AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECTS OF CHURCHES

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Like many other sectors of life, religion suffered throughout the global Covid-19 public health crisis. To adhere to new social distancing procedures, religious institutions worldwide sent their congregants home (Bryson et al., 2020). Physical closeness, when a source of spiritual solidarity, after that, came with the high threat of spreading infection. Older people, young children, and the sick among other vulnerable people were at more risk for severe complications and death from Covid-19 (Wiemers et al., 2020). This group of individuals was therefore encouraged to keep away from social events. Nevertheless, the older generation and other people with other prevailing medical problems needed divine intervention. The study revealed that this group of individuals frequently worship places more than the rest of the community (Swihart et al., 2020).

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading very rapidly and its effects were felt in all strata of the society on a global scale. It is reasonable that it has an extremely considerable effect on the whole social life, including religious life. Religious practices, which have by their very nature, a community dimension in nearly all religions, in Christian denominations too, are likewise changing under the influence of the pandemic. The typical view of churches when it comes to the coronavirus outbreak is that the completion of the world is impending. Many Christians respect it as among the indications of the 2nd resulting Christ. They regard it as a divine punishment for our sinfulness. Christians understood it to be a call for repentance and honest dedication to God.

Churches in Nigeria were contended with the novel pandemic called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). According to many people, the outbreak of COVID-19 is an indication that the end of the world is imminent. Many Christians regarded it as one of the indications that the coming of Jesus Christ is at hand. They likewise regarded it as a divine punishment for ungodliness. It is understood to be a call to repentance and sincere dedication to God. It was a tool for restoring individuals of God to godliness and creating awareness of the vanity of material possessions. It was a call to earnestly seek the Kingdom of God and its righteousness. It was a call to amend one’s ways and prepare for the unavoidable second coming of Jesus Christ.

The effects COVID-19 is causing and inflicting across the layers of society in various sectors have changed and going to change more in many ways. Many did undermine the resultant effect and have now started to accept its fatal power to cause death and the capability to contaminate millions of individuals. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many human activities to opt for changes. One such drastic change coronavirus introduced concerns the faith of the believers that gather for worship services and other vital meetings that fall in the Christian calendar that the church observes. COVID-19 changed the regular services and other crucial events that fell within the Christian calendar throughout the period. As a result of the changing situation, physical connectivity within the ecclesia was completely snapped off and currently, it was just online proximity. Congregation members were strictly restricted to gather in the churches and so the global church went online. It is on this note that this study seeks to examine the impact of covid-19 pandemic on church growth and administration.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The basis that the lockdown of religious centers most especially churches and mosques and other public places actually prevented ministers from carrying out their pastoral m in the conventional ways through physical contacts. Churches had to find other means of holding their chucontactvities, and pastors had to explore other alternative means of performing their pastoral ministry. Therefore, this study is an attempt to find out the Impact of covid-19 pandemic on church growth and administration and how the church managed to overcome the issue of administration during the lockdown, especially how ministers and other management of the church were able to be effectively in their respective ministries in the church during the lockdown, and how churches were able to start functioning effectively immediately after the re-opening of religious centers in Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to determine the impact of covid-19 pandemic on church growth and administration. However, the specific objectives therefore include:

  1. i)  To investigate the impact of covid-19 pandemic on the church
  2. ii)   To examine churches’ adjustment to covid-19 pandemic demand for church growth and administration.

iii)   To understand the origin of covid-19 pandemic in the world

1.4       Research Questions

The following statements were regarded as the research questions for this study:

  1. i)  What is the impact of covid-19 pandemic on the church?
  2. ii)  What is the church’s adjustment to covid-19 pandemic demand for church growth and administration?

iii)  What is the origin of covid-19 pandemic in the world?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following statements were regarded as the research hypotheses for this study

  1. i)   There is a significant influence of covid-19 pandemic on the church
  2. ii)   There is a significant correlation between churches adjustment to covid-19 pandemic demand and church growchurches’dministration.

1.6       Significance of the Study

The significance of this study stems from the fact that it addresses the challenges of Corona-virus pandemic in Africa. It will be most significant to Coronavirus communities in Africa especially the Christian bodies in that it will make inputs on the best possible ways of reducing the spread of the pandemic during church meetings. It will also be beneficial to the employers of labor in that the study will make useful contributions on how to manage the challenges occasioned by the pandemic and in that way will reduce the rate of people losing their jobs on account of the pandemic.

1.7       Scope of the Study

The study is on the impact of covid-19 pandemic on church growth and administration and therefore, five The Redemption Church of God branches in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, were used as a case study.

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