Three of Dr Roennfeldt's books, including his newest title, When Your Church Goes Home. [Photo Courtesy of Adventist Record]
Australia | Nathan Brown

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and growing pandemic fatigue is challenging churches and disconnecting church members, according to author Peter Roennfeldt. “There are real tensions,” he explains. “Some insist that in-person worship in the church building is what church is about and that it must be open to all; while others wish to take a more [reserved] approach. Even after a year-end break, many pastors and local leaders are exhausted from juggling the many conflicting interests and tensions.”

Over the past two years, Roennfeldt has participated in numerous Zoom calls and conferences with mission agencies and denominational entities, as well as with local churches and teams of pastors, listening to their experiences and encouraging churches to continue to adapt to the restrictions and realities of the pandemic. With this background, he says that his new book—When Your Church Goes Home—is even more relevant now than when first released as a free ebook in November last year, offering alternative ways for churches to continue to meet and minister, amidst the new wave of the pandemic. 

“In this book, I survey the growing interest in ‘households of faith,’ the Biblical frames for these churches, and stories of members and pastors fostering these types of churches,” Roennfeldt explains. “It is a very practical, easy-to-read look at the why, how, where, what and when of churches at home.”

This is the third book Roennfeldt has published in response to the challenges of the pandemic to ‘church-as-usual’. His first book, If Your Church is Closed . . . Be the Church, focused on the basic functions of the church amid the early lockdowns and has been distributed around the world as a free ebook. Last year, his book, Your Church Has Changed, addressed the longer-term disruptions and effects of the pandemic for re-defining church and mission.

Now, Roennfeldt sees three factors that are being recognized in an increasing number of church communities. “We cannot afford to return to church as it was,” he says. “We must have multiple in-person gatherings in COVID-safe environments for the diverse expectations and needs of church members, and we need smaller relational churches connected to our immediate neighborhoods.”

To get it out as quickly as possible, in support of church leaders and some who have already begun “households of faith,” the book, When Your Church Goes Home, was initially launched as an ebook. “We were happy for pastors and leaders to share it with their teams and members, and that can be done with ease and at no cost electronically,” says Roennfeldt. 

The book is also available for download at www.following-jesus.com.

Plans are also in place for a printed edition of When Your Church Goes Home. “Not [everyone uses] electronic devices for reading, and many find it much easier to reflect on ideas and plan while reading a printed book. Pastors and members, together with conference and mission leaders, have indicated that they would use a print edition to inspire and train teams for multiplying ‘households of faith.’”

This article was originally published on the website of Adventist Record.

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