When congregations were forced to turn to online services when the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, some religious leaders had to embrace digital platforms for the first time.
Not all churches were technologically equipped to produce worship services online. One Methodist pastor had to lend her own digital camera to the church, which had no digital resources. Another duct taped a borrowed smartphone to a ladder in order to stream a service. An Episcopal priest from Indianapolis described feelings of exhaustion and fatigue, saying that her online services fell flat and “wasn’t the job I signed up for.”
They are among the pastors, volunteers andstaff members who provided insight into their experiences with technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. Heidi A Campbell, a professor at Texas A&M University who studies media and religion, prepared a report issued last month on their decision-making processes and the sources of tension or challenges they faced.