Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: My friend and professional inspiration has been Elmer Towns, prolific author (over 200 books), scholar and student of outreach. Looking back over 50 years of studying how churches grow, ne said that teaching/preaching via new methods (today online via cameras) is one of the most important secrets of church growth.
For centuries, Christians have met in sacred places that also provided safety for those seeking asylum, including runaway slaves and undocumented immigrants. But those same sanctuaries where many sing and embrace each other have become anxiety-inducing, and possibly dangerous, for many Americans who are considered higher risk for covid-19.
More than 7 million Americans have weakened immune systems that make them more vulnerable to contracting the coronavirus and can make covid-19 more deadly. Many have chosen to stay home. Those who are immunocompromised include people with medical conditions that weaken their immune response, as well as people taking immune-suppressing drugs because of cancer, organ transplants or autoimmune diseases.
As states across the country are lifting covid-19 precautions such as mask mandates and some churches have dropped online services, the immunocompromised are weighing their risk of possible exposure in worship services. And some are finding their fellow parishioners and church leaders aren’t taking measures to protect them.