Worship In The Age Of Coronavirus: What Has Become Of Our Deserted Multi-Billion Dollar Churches; By Favour Amako

Fear of the coronavirus has rippled across the world, directly affecting places of worship, not only in Nigeria, but also other nations. The World Health Organisation, WHO, a few weeks ago, declared the coronavirus as a pandemic. The globe is now on lockdown, and the world economy is wobbling.
Religious Leaders have begun taking measures that could discourage the spread of the virus in the large groups common in Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques.

They have asked congregants to change some familiar practices: communal cups used during communion have been whisked away, placed in storage until the threat of coronavirus has passed. Church employees have placed hand sanitizer bottles in every pew. Saudi Arabia has halted travel to certain holy sites for foreigners, and in Italy, the home of the Catholic Church, many of the faithfuls watched Mass on television from their homes, on Sunday.
In Lagos State, no public or religious gathering should be more that 50. Kaduna and Kogi States had reduced the numbers of public gathering to 30 and 20, respectively. Internet Pastors are emerging in droves, while our multi billion dollars Churches that were built at the expense of the poor, will soon start rotting away. The question that remains is, what are now the state of the multi-billion dollar Churches that were built by religious Leaders, at the expense of the welfare of their poor members. Who will now congregate there? I always ask, should Churches spend money on nice buildings at the expense of the the salvation of souls? Is the salvation of souls and helping the poor and needy not the primary goals of the Church?

But now, building projects are a source of significant tension for many Pastors and other Church Leaders, more than winning souls. They want to be among the league of men of God that build multi-billion dollar Church edifice, along Lagos Ibadan Expressway. Why are we spending so much money on a building, when there are so many lacking food, shelter, and especially the gospel?
There is nothing in the New Testament that said that we should construct Church buildings. So why is it that whenever we plant a Church, or whenever a Church starts to grow, the first thing we think is, we need to spend the hard earned resources of the worshippers on a building? Why would we spend an inordinate amount of our resources on something that is never prescribed or even encouraged in the New Testament? Why would we not instead use those resources on that which is explicitly promoted in the New testament, such as sharing the gospel with the lost, or helping the poor in the Church? As I write this, more than 700 million people around the world live in slums; many of them are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Should we really be prioritising bigger buildings for ourselves?

Now that the coronavirus has taken the world by storm, leading to the banning of large public gatherings, what will become of our so called multi-billion naira edifices. Who will now worship in them?
This is a wake up call, that our Religious Leaders should invest more on people, than physical buildings.

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