Cost of Covid: worship during the pandemic

MACON, Ga. — COVID-19 has changed the way we live, and that includes how we worship. With many churches forced to close, some members have also had to close their wallets.

Dominique Johnson is the pastor of Kingdom Life Church and because his congregation couldn’t come into the church, he changed the way he delivers Sunday service.

“We had to upgrade. We put monitors in the church, upgraded our camera system, even bought streaming software,” he said.

Maintaining a church, even during a pandemic, doesn’t come cheap. With people staying home, the major funding source for many churches dropped.

Father Bill McIntyre is the head pastor at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Macon. He says they cut budgets by 20%.

“Because churches don’t receive government subsidies… we’re dependent upon the donations of our members,” McIntyre said.

If the church doesn’t have what it needs, then serving the community becomes much more difficult.

Their food pantry went from serving 40 to 50 families every two weeks to over 200.

With an increased need during uncertain times, both men say support from their congregation has helped the churches continue serving the community.

“Things dried up, but we have a reserve…then people started mailing in their offertory, their tithing. People figured out how to give online and our online giving went from a small number and increased like 600%,” McIntyre said. “God’s goodness can’t be hidden by a mask or can’t be limited by social distancing. God will come through and bless us and bless us with an abundance that we will just begin to see.”

Services at both St. Peter Claver and Kingdom Life are available to stream.