J.D. Greear is the pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina and serves as the current President of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Summit Church is a Megachurch that has over 12,000 members whom gather for worship in twelve locations spread throughout the central part of North Carolina.
Coming on the heels of Andy Stanley’s announcement of North Point Community Church not reopening this year, Tuesday night The Summit Church held a Virtual Member Meeting where Pastor Greear announced that they would not gather in person at their campuses for the remainder of the year (due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus). He labeled the talk ‘Unpack Your Bags – Make the new normal our normal‘ making the reference to staying at a hotel for an extended period of time (you’d unpack your bags if you know that you’re going to be there for awhile, or not unpack if it’s just temporary.)
We’ve Got to Strategize Like This is The New Normal
Greear made the comment, “This may not be a storm that passes very quickly…we just don’t want to operate week to week anymore as we have been and then wake up six months from now and look back and realize how much we missed (in making disciples) because we didn’t adjust.”
Some of The Summit Church campuses meet in schools, and due to those particular schools starting off the school year virtually, those campuses would not have anywhere to meet.
“We just don’t think that we can keep you safe if we begin to open up for gatherings on a large nature,” Greear said, because the services are typically 500 to 1000 people each.
If a ‘Miracle Vaccine’ suddenly appears, he said they can always re-strategize and are setup to move quickly to adjust “but (right now) it’s time for us to move forward.”
We Need to Become a Movement of House Churches
Pastor Greear made it clear that they need to become a movement of house churches. “Instead of The Summit Church being 12,000 people meeting in twelve different locations on the weekend,” he said strategically, “now we are going to be about 15,000 people meeting in about 2400 locations.”