Prompted by California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to ban indoor singing and chanting in places of worship, a Bethel Music worship leader and an Orange County outreach ministry leader have proclaimed that “the Church has left the building.”
“In the face of the virus and racial unrest, God has an answer of his people moving in radical love and unity,” said Sean Feucht, who recently led a crowd of nearly 1,000 in worship song facing the ocean in the city of Huntington Beach, “and maybe we can’t meet in buildings but we can meet on the beach. We can go to the bridge. We’re going to meet in parks. We’re not restricted to the four walls. We can still be the church even if we’re not in our buildings.”
Feucht, who moved from his bid to hold a position in Congress to political advocacy in support of Christian values in California, is scheduled to do the same as he did in Huntington Beach and San Francisco, in New York City Saturday night (7/18). Next week, he will continue his “Hold the Line” tour in California, in the cities of Redding, Pasadena, Bakersfield, Fresno, and followed by San Diego.
Of course, most evangelical churches in America have been preaching for years that the Church (God’s body of believers) is much more than a physical structure – however, perhaps not enough, according to leaders in the Christian community.
Saturate OC director Jessi Green stated in a recent Instagram post that she’s received messages from people asking questions such as “Why does it matter if ‘The Church’ can’t worship together?” and making statements such as “It’s irresponsible to be out and gathering and sharing the Gospel.”
After posting that she witnessed a woman accept Jesus after Green and her friend had shared the Gospel with her just a few days prior to the Saturate OC event the woman was now attending, Green stated, “Maybe it is irresponsible to share the Gospel during a pandemic? Or perhaps this is EXACTLY the time to PREACH with POWER and live selflessly!”
Near the end of her message to the crowd and invitation to get baptized in the ocean, Green said, “The church has left the building.”
An article in the Los Angeles Times owned Daily Pilot and written by Hillary Davis, supports the claim of “revival” with its headline, In Huntington Beach, a revival with church at the ocean’s edge, photos of baptism, and testimony from attenders.
An Instagram video post captured by this reporter shows Feucht leading the crowd at the event in singing, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”