How Church Life Will Change in a Post- Apocalyptic World

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

I have been a pastor for 20-plus years.  Since I discovered prepping, I have sometimes wondered how life will change for churches and pastors in a post grid-down scenario.  Even if you are not a believer, your community will be affected.  Here are my thoughts on how church life will change.  Most of these ideas will apply to all religious groups in general, not just Christians and churches.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

Life in a grid-down situation will become extremely difficult.  Will faith endure when people face incredibly hard decisions?  The closest Biblical parallel is in the prophetic period in the later period of the Old Testament.  Some believers will feel like they’ve been abandoned or punished by God, and/or that God does not love them anymore.  All those unconditional promises by clergy speaking for God, will seem like broken promises.  Some may lose hope and forsake the faith.  There will be questions of sin, God’s punishment, and whether faithful believers can still claim a covenant relationship with God.  Can one still believe and hope in God when the material things have been stripped away?  Can one still hope in God when one sees so much death and devastation?  How can one trust in a God who allows so much pain and suffering?  Church leaders will be severely challenged by such questions and complaints.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

The degree to which church leaders adapt to this new way of faith, will determine how effectively they can lead people of faith.  A study of Old Testament prophets could equip one to adapt faster to a similar period; investing in a few books or commentaries would prove helpful.  A study of how the Israelite’s survived the prophetic era, would equip believers in a similar period.  Studying how the Israelite’s survived the exile, could help those who will be uprooted by unforeseen hard times.  Clergy and Bible teachers would be wise to begin studying the prophets and the exile now, so they will be prepared to help believers when times become unimaginably difficult.

One practical change is that people will stop driving to church.  Imagine neighborhood churches in which people walk or bike to a church with others from your neighborhood.  Even if vehicles still function after an EMP, people will probably not use precious fuel to drive 20-40 minutes to church in another community.  That means that local churches will reflect the people in your geographic area.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

This may have good and bad consequences.  It will be positive in that seeing your neighbors in church will reinforce your relationships with your neighbors, which may lead to cooperative arrangements and bartering with neighbors you trust.  This will mean that you will get to know some neighbors that you rarely see now.  Perhaps this means letting your neighbor borrow your roster for a few weeks, in exchange for some eggs.  Or your neighbor plowing your large garden, in exchange for part of a hog.  Maybe this means the people on your block getting together for a winter social event in someone’s shed or barn.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

However, this may be negative if one has a bad experience with certain neighbors.  For example, let’s say you agree to rototill a garden for a neighbor, in exchange for his cutting firewood for you.  You did your rototilling, but your neighbor has not yet done his part.  Now winter has begun, and your wood supply is growing short.  How will you feel about seeing this neighbor in church?  Or imagine that things have been disappearing in your neighborhood.  No one knows who the thief is, but your neighbors suspect that it’s someone from your neighborhood.  When you go to church, you find yourself wondering if it could be someone in your congregation.

Losing electricity will affect churches whose current pastors commute more than a few miles.  If your pastor drives more than a few miles to your church, he will not likely continue serving your church in a grid-down scenario.  Consider if an elder or person in your neighborhood could step in as the pastor in an emergency.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

There will be a large demand for pastoral services like leading worship, teaching Bible studies, pastoral care and counseling.  Remember how church attendance soared in the months after 9-11?  I foresee a similar response to a grid-down scenario.  However, when US dollars have little value, how will pastors and clergy be compensated?  This is no small issue for pastors who have a family to feed.  Back in the 1800s, it was common for pastors on the frontier to be paid in garden produce, eggs, a chicken, part of a hog that was butchered, or venison after a deer was shot. While that will help pastors, it will not likely be sufficient for provide for his family’s needs.  Thus, it would be wise for prepping pastors to learn a couple other skills to help provide for their family.

Look at utilities for church buildings and parsonages.  If your facility depends on natural gas or electricity, you may be wise to make contingency plans.  For example, will your church building and/or parsonage have a wood stove for winter heat?  Are there enough trees and forest in your area to provide wood for everyone who will be cutting it down?  Will an outhouse be built behind your building after a disaster?  Will you have a way to procure drinking water when electrical pumps fail?  These challenges will come up quickly after the grid goes down.  Thus it’s wise to have plans and materials in place now.  If you and your church do not have contingency plans in place, it will take you longer to respond to a radically different way of life after a major disaster.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

When times get hard, there may be congregations that don’t meet in a traditional church building.  Some congregations may meet in a shed, barn, picnic shelter at a park, or backyard, especially if a church building is not available.  Another option is for two congregations to share a building.

Can a congregation play a role in forming mutual survival groups?  Some pastors know their members well.  If you’re thinking of asking a member to be part of your group, you may want to ask your pastor for his thoughts on that person.  He may recommend that person positively, or he may suggest being leery of that person.  This is like asking your pastor to be a personal reference.  There may be others in your church that you may want to ask to be a reference.  Discernment is crucial when asking others to become part of your group.  When asking someone for their personal thoughts on another person, assure that person that what s/he says will be kept confidential, and then keep it confidential.

Another issue will be, how will your congregation respond to those asking for food or other assistance?  Such requests will increase after a disaster, and likely increase dramatically.  Do you have a way to separate the legitimate requests from those who simply don’t want to work?  Here’s where a neighborhood church has an advantage.  Chances are, people on your church board will know who in your neighborhood has a genuine need and who has trouble getting out of bed on time or is wasting precious resources on alcoholic indulgences.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

If you are a minister, you may want to get some training on caring for trauma survivors or counseling those with PTSD.  It wouldn’t cost much to buy a few books on caring for those with trauma or PTSD.  It may also be wise to be prepared to train members in helping those with trauma or PTSD because there will be many with those issues after a grid failure.  Imagine how your church could be a blessing in your community if you trained a dozen people to help trauma victims in their families or circles of friends.  Such care will help those individuals and families adjust to a different world.  One can also download YouTube videos on helping people with PTSD, as long as one takes precautions to protect your device from an EMP.

In a grid-down scenario, schools will cease functioning, leaving a void for the education of children.  I believe that churches could fill that need, if one is willing to make some plans.  Teachers today relay on the internet and a smartboard for daily lesson plans.  Imagine an elementary school using supplies and methods of a generation or two ago.  That means using chalkboards, textbooks, pencils, and paper tablets.  If your church prepares by buying such materials, it may not be hard to provide math, reading, writing, and U.S. history for kindergarten through 4th grade.  There would be an adjustment period for teachers, students, and parents.  Can a school function without buses, electricity, telephones, or internet access?  Yes, if educators are willing to rely on methods of previous generations.

Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date.  Editors Note: Another guest post from Red J to The Prepper Journal. As we mull over our New Years resolutions, this article may give us a few ideas, may set on on a path to thinking of things that will directly effect us that we may not have considered to date. 

If you wonder about the education of older children and teens, I believe that they will be needed to help supply water and food for their families, because meeting our basic needs will require much more work and time.  My parents grew up in the days when boys dropped out of school because they were needed on the family farm.  Middle school and high schools will be seen as unnecessary luxuries that only a few can afford.  However, I do see a future for apprentices to learn a skill.  If you’re a hunter, farmer, gardener, blacksmith, or seamstress who can train others in those skills, it could be a way to supplement your income.

Church leaders will be challenged to show that faith, hope, and love can endure unimagined difficulties.  When lifestyles change after a grid-down situation, there will be challenges and opportunities for pastors and churches that are prepared for a different world.  Will your church and your pastor be ready?

 

 

11 comments
  1. Churches will immediately become sheeple refugee shelters – all OK until relief supplies become short …

    Just hope that the churches and the people showing a kind heart survive the resulting consequences ….

  2. In my opinion, church leaders should brush up on their end times prophecy. To me it’s obvious that we’re well into the Last or Latter Days the Bible talks about so much.
    The disciples asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming and THE END OF THE AGE?” Jesus’ reply describes what the world will be like when the Church Age, the Age of Grace ends. Jesus called this time “the Beginning of Sorrows” in Matthew 24:8.
    The Beginning of Sorrows will be a time of great deception, widespread war, famine/starvation and death.
    Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation 6 all describe the same period.

    This article describes a time when society has collapsed, at least to the point where schools are no longer functioning. To me that says that this is not a “grid-down” situation caused by a localized storm, flooding, fire or other temporary event.

    I do not believe that this will be a time when people turn to farming, hunting and society-rebuilding. This is a period in which 1/4 of all people will die (Revelation 6:8). It will be a time of pain, grief, despair, panic, starvation, disease, sickness and death.

    As bad as that will be, it gets worse. The Church will then enter a period of great persecution. Christians will be hunted down and betrayed to the authorities, even by their own families (Mark 13:12).
    The churches that continue to meet will not do so openly; they will meet covertly. Members will be forced to arrive at the secret meeting place one at a time, stealthily. The windows will be covered. A watch will have to be kept to give warning of arriving authorities.

    In such a time, people will be asking “Why”? In my opinion, pastors should be ready to say, “Because we live in the Beginning of Sorrows, just before the return of Christ.”
    That’s what will bring comfort to those who have lost everything.

    I’m a prepper. I want my family and I to survive these coming times. I just don’t think it will be the scenario of farming, home-schooling and blacksmithing that some think it will be.

  3. Good points about the church in a grid-down world (not just a temporary outage).

    Back in the 1800s, New England churches were not heated. People met on Sunday to hear sermons and sing hymns, dressed in winter coats and hats.

    Congregations WILL become strictly local, which means the individual congregants will have to be more tolerant of neighbor/members with different preferences. (e.g. a KJV-Only guy will just have to bite his tongue while another man reads from his NIV). No more driving to the next town to self-sort into homogenous groups.

    I’ll bet that congregations will be smaller, certainly at first. People whose “faith” was in a Comfort-god (who would shield them from all discomforts) will fall away. Folks who only attended out of social ritual will no longer bother.

    Pastors will have to give up on the idea of being fully supported. Very few of their congregants will have jobs and likely not have enough to supply their family’s needs. Pastors need to prep for self-sufficiency too.

    Despite the hardships, a faithful remnant will remain. They always do.

    1. lonewolf, if one of ur friends or family members was traumatized or showing PTSD symptoms, & a Christian offered to try to help him/her, how would u respond?

      1. Don’t think most churches will want non-believers around. The message over the years has gone from good old-fashioned hellfire and brimstone preaching to feel-good prosperity gospel. If an apocalypse happens, they will be the cause of it.

        1. As you know, this is the apostacy of the last days. Most churches are filled with non believers now (Revelation 3… “and I spew you out of my mouth.”) Throw the question out, “what makes you different from the demons? They at least recognize Jesus’ authority and bow to it”
          Always be ready to give account to the Hope that is in you.

    2. There are few, if any atheists in a foxhole….or survival situation. Start practicing your apologetics now. Have multiple answers to ” where is your God with all this happening.?”
      When things fall apart, this is our moment to shine His Light. Be able to speak hard truths, with love, but without compromise.

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