A survey conducted among 54 pastors of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore (PCS) earlier this year surfaced challenges in reaching out to their congregations at a time when physical gatherings are still discouraged, and their concerns on going digital. In terms of support, 60 percent of the pastors felt that receiving aid in producing online AV material including sermons, followed by digital assistance for the elderly (57.4%), and having spiritual resources to share with their members (50%) would make the arrangement more effective.

Ranked high on their list of concerns in the “Pastoral Care in the New Normal” survey was the worry that the spiritual lives of their church members would be adversely affected by the lack of in-person interaction and fellowship. Next on their list of dangers posed by the pandemic was the dilution of or wrong understanding of doctrine, since the freedom and variety of resources online provides access to a plethora of different doctrinal teachings.

Even though pastors have to adapt to reaching out to their flock and the community in different ways now, nearly two-thirds (57.4%) of them were confident about doing so.

In conclusion, church ministers recognise the importance of going digital even though there are drawbacks, and recognise this season as a change to strengthen relationships, re-think what the church is doing, and to draw closer in their walk with God.