When Is It Safe to Go Back to Church?

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Every week, Daniel Yang (Director of the SEND Institute) and myself (Author, Podcaster, Incredibly talented-and-good-looking-guy) meet up in Exponential’s online community known as the HUB to talk church planting challenging issues leaders face.

Doesn’t everybody?

By now, you can tell that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We DO take multiplication seriously, however, and to that end, Daniel and I are a no-holds-barred team that will unpack any topic with leaders.

On September 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET, we’re going to have THE GODFATHER of church planting, Ed Stetzer, on our show. We’ll pick the brain of this ministry Don, and he’ll make suggestions we can’t refuse.

After all, he’s head of the Billy Graham Institute of Evangelism, and pastored historic Moody Church for a bit. Not to mention, he has a ton of books out that all planters should read.

I once interviewed Ed on the Church Planter Podcast where he asked if me and my co-host are “just a couple of guys having beers and laughs in Mom’s basement?” It may have sounded like an insult, but we cherish it to this day.

This time around, I’ll have Daniel with me. And Ed is Daniel’s boss. My goal is two-fold:

  1. Unpack as much as we can about “THE STATE OF THE CHURCH” and what we should do about it. Ed knows all. He will tell us.
  2. Get Daniel into as much trouble with his boss as possible.

On a serious note, few have contributed to the world of church planting like Ed Stetzer has, giving attention to research and data that has helped us analyze what we’re doing and where we’re going.

When COVID-19 hit, Stetzer and Yang took to the airwaves to broadcast 40+ episodes about how the church should respond to COVID-19! Forty plus episodes…just let that sink in.

Our hope is that Ed will distill his wisdom for us on COVID-19 like a fine whiskey — you know he’s totally got a moonshine beard. He can do it!

Consider the findings of the report Ed and Daniel compiled with Exponential on how much the church could gather during this time.

Then consider when the churches decided to go back.


“While it is important to pay attention to what church members believe is best for the congregation and community, tension is often the occasion to cast vision for what is the true purpose and mission of the local church,” write the authors (including Ed Stetzer and Daniel Yang) in the report.

“A return to a gathering should be done with a commitment to keep scattering for the mission. And a commitment to remain scattered should be done for Kingdom’s sake, and not out of fear or apathy. Addressing people’s underlying fear by reminding them of God’s purpose for your church in the community can help transcend the conversation beyond just whether to return on Sundays.”

That’s what we’ll focus on during our podcast. When is it safe to go back, and how should we then live?

Like I said, Ed will tell us.

He knows stuff.

Join Peyton Jones and Daniel Yang for a live, interactive conversation with Ed Stetzer on Monday, September 14 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Register here.

We are better together!

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

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