Nathan Miller of Christ Community Church in Kansas City and Kansas Explores People’s Response to a Survey On Re-Opening in the COVID-19 Era

Nathan Miller of Christ Community Church an EFCA Church in the Kansas City and Kansas metropolitan area released the statistics from a survey that 1,400 people responded to. The survey dealt with the topic of re-opening in the COVID-19 era. 

“Instead of putting others in their place, put yourself in their place.”

Amish Proverb

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:2-4 ESV

Coronavirus

This blog has been writing quite a bit about how evangelicals are responding to the COVID-19 situation. This blog focuses quite a bit on the EFCA and I have been writing quite a bit about Christ Community Church in the EFCA’s Midwest District of Kansas and Nebraska. Recently Christ Community Church surveyed its congregation on their thoughts about re-opening. You can read about that in, “Tom Nelson’s Christ Community Church is Surveying its Membership and Attenders About Re-Opening During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Recently Nathan Miller who is on the senior pastor team released the results of the survey. The numbers are all over the map. Some want to re-open right away while many do not. In the end 1,400 people responded to the survey. What I do notice which I respect about Christ Community is their acknowledgement of those who are vulnerable. Imagine that…a church that actually cares for the vulnerable in the congregation. Honestly that is not something that I see often as I write about evangelicalism. So that is to be commended. As an outsider it will be interesting to watch and observe how this situation develops with the passing of time. Meanwhile you can read the survey results below.


 

Hello,

Thank you so much to the more than 1,400 of you who participated in our survey about reopening. I also want to thank you for the many encouraging comments we received. We are honored by your gratitude and trust, and we will strive to be worthy of such affirmation.

While all the data will be helpful to our elder leadership and staff teams as we plan and pray, we thought it would be most beneficial to communicate the data from two questions in particular.

For the question, Do you consider yourself or someone in your home to be at greater risk for Covid-19? 34% of our church family said yes—1 out of 3. If that describes you, I just want to say how much we love you, and that no matter when we reopen, we will do everything we can to care for you, include you, and never shame you for how or when you decide to engage in corporate worship. We will continue to serve you the best we can.

For some, that may mean it could be awhile before you return in person. We will continue to offer online services, additional resources, and spaces for meaningful community. When you do return, we will follow the best guidelines to care for you. You are our family and we will not leave you behind.

For the two-thirds of our church family who don’t feel vulnerable, I hope you see the task ahead for our church family. We need to find creative and patient ways to love really well in the months ahead. This is an opportunity for selfless, Christ-like service. Regardless of the endless opinions out there, one thing is abundantly clear: our job is to love.

For the question, Given your current understanding, when do you predict you might feel most comfortable attending in-person worship? As expected, we were all over the map.

Pie Chart with Survey Results
While this means we will inevitably not meet the expectations of a portion of our church family (whether we reopen too soon or not soon enough), these numbers actually encourage me. I am so grateful to be a part of a church where we can have unity without uniformity.

It’s ok that we don’t all agree or see the world in exactly the same way. It’s actually more than ok, as we need each other to graciously challenge and encourage one another. That kind of good thinking happens best when people who love and respect each other are able to disagree while still loving and respecting each other.

Isn’t that the kind of church you want to be a part of?

All our teams are actively working on the plans for reopening and we will keep you informed. Our campuses are different sizes with different kinds of buildings and needs. As a result, details will vary so please pay careful attention to updates from your campus pastor.

Keep praying. We need creativity, wisdom, unity, and strength for the challenges ahead. Keep being the church. Find ways to love, serve, and encourage those around you. In the midst of such heated polarization, may God’s church be a voice of grace and truth.

Finally, as you are able, we hope you’ll begin engaging our online services with friends and/or your community group. If at all possible, don’t watch alone, even if it’s just a tiny gathering. Jesus said: For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. (Matthew 18:20). To make it even easier to find and share, please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

We love you church, and miss you desperately. Thank you for your grace, your missional heart, and your incredible generosity. We are so blessed by you.

Blessings,
Nathan Miller

 

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