“When the stay-at-home order was first issued by the North Carolina governor back in March,” comments Justin Manny, production pastor at The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area, “we all thought, OK, we’ll do this for three or four weeks max, and then we’ll be back. Then someone commented that they thought this could go on for a couple months, and we were all going, ‘Whaaaat???’”
And here we are, not eight weeks later, but 16 weeks later, and The Summit Church recently announced to its congregation that there will be no plans to attempt reopening any of the campuses for services before January 2021. And many other large churches around the country have made similar announcements, including Atlanta multisite North Point Community Church.
Prior to making this decision, Summit surveyed its congregation to “take their temperature” on the idea of reopening campuses for services. “Similar to national trends,” states Janetta Oni, director of communications for The Summit Church, “roughly one-third of the congregation were ready to attend now; one third were unsure; and one third will likely stay away for a long time.”