Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
spiritual growth, spiritual maturity, spiritual discipline, pandemic response, church attendance, church giving, fellowship
Hall, Joshua W., "The Digital Pulpit: Having Church When You Can't Have Church" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4194.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique difficulties and challenges across the globe. Churches responded to these challenges in different ways. At Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, where the researcher serves, the physical church buildings were closed and physical worship services suspended in favor of online services. This arrangement persisted for ten weeks. After reopening the physical church building for in-person services, average church attendance had decreased, church giving had increased, and spiritual formation had taken place. This research aimed to address the reason as to why these challenging conditions produced such unexpected results. To achieve this, the researcher utilized a series of measures in order to gather quantitative and qualitative data. The goal of this research was to discover how the Holy Spirit worked and moved within the membership of MOBC and the speakers who preached and taught during the ten weeks of livestreamed services. The research portion of the thesis called for volunteers from within the membership of MOBC. The results conclusively displayed that the movement of the Holy Spirit is, at best, extremely difficult to see in real time and, more likely, cannot be seen in real time at all as the Holy Spirit’s work and movement is not accomplished in such a way. Instead, the Holy Spirit moves in an overarching, holistic manner that infiltrates every aspect of Christian life in a way that is too vast to quantify with even the most detailed metric.