In 2020 millions of businesses had to adapt. Social Distancing was the phrase of the year and state governments mandated less than 50 or even 25 people in a room together. As one can imagine, this greatly challenged churches and places of worship. Although churches and places of worship do not pay taxes and may not be distinguished as businesses by the state and federal government, they make money from patrons and parishioners and use that money to reinvest in services. This is exactly what a business does.
So, how did churches and places of worship get through 2020 and the global pandemic? As with almost every business in the United States, and the world, those that had a jump on technology were well ahead of their competitive. Coming from someone that runs a digital marketing company, I can promise there was plenty of opportunity to drum up business if you had Internet or computer skills.
The churches and places of worship that had a strong Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram presence saw an increase in activity on these social media apps. With churchgoers stuck at home on Sundays they had to find a way to feel like they were in the church. The best way to do this was through Zoom Video conferencing, Facebook Live or a YouTube video. The churches that had the technology to do this in an efficient manner saw a huge spike in interest.
Small town churches that do not have a video or audio system at all were left behind (no pun intended) because they were unable to open for parishioners. This is why there was such an uproar from the religious community during the national lockdown. I can assure you that is priests, pastors and other religious leaders had websites, Venmo, PayPal or CashApp that allowed them to receive donations, there would have been no complaining at all.
In the future, we will see more and more churches go virtual with video capabilities. Interestingly, about five years ago I thought about the business prospect of an online only church. Imagine if that was built and was gaining momentum prior to the global pandemic. For my sake and the sake of the Internet, it is a good thing I never created the online church I was thinking about.