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Jay Kim: How COVID-19 Has Impacted My View of Online Church

Jay Kim

Jay Kim serves as lead pastor of teaching at WestGate Church in the Silicon Valley and as teacher-in-residence at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif. He also serves on the leadership team of the ReGeneration Project and co-hosts the ReGeneration Podcast. Jay is featured in an in-depth interview in the March/April 2020 issue of Outreach magazine, and he is the author of “Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Things in the Digital Age.” Jay and his wife, Jenny, live with their two kids in Silicon Valley.

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Key Questions for Jay Kim

-Did the COVID-19 pandemic change any of your views on digital versus in-person connection, or did it confirm what you already believed? 

-Do you think church leaders were able to accomplish effective, transformative discipleship, even when not able to meet in person last year?

-One of the results of the pandemic is that many who had been attending church in person began attending online and have not returned to in-person services. What are your thoughts on this trend?

-There are pastors and church leaders who believe that authentic community can be developed exclusively online. Would you agree or disagree?

Key Quotes from Jay Kim

“I definitely have a greater appreciation for what digital can do…I am more grateful for those tools today in very pragmatic ways than I was pre-pandemic.”

“If you go back and read the book, I think I’m very clear that the problem is not technology. The problem is misuse or abuse of said technology.”

“Embodied human beings need embodied human beings. It wasn’t long after we went into lockdown that we began reading article after article about digital fatigue and Zoom fatigue.” 

“What the pandemic has shown, more than anything in my opinion, is that digital is not enough. It’s a great tool, we’re grateful for it for sure, but it’s not enough.”

Discipleship is a patient, deep, communal process, and a lifelong process.”

“Discipleship is about proximity and practice, that we live closely with Jesus and that we practice the way of Jesus and that way is by its very nature communal.”

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Jason serves as the Chief Strategy Officer at PastorServe, a ministry committed to strengthening the Church by serving pastors through personal coaching and church consulting. He also hosts FrontStage BackStage, a podcast and YouTube show, that helps pastors embrace healthy, well-balanced leadership as they develop a sustainable rhythm for life and ministry. Prior to joining the PastorServe team, Jason served as Vice President of Ministry Mobilization at Outreach, Inc., and as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement. Additionally, Jason served for nearly two decades in pastoral leadership, primarily as a lead pastor, in several contexts, including church plant re-launch, multisite church, multiethnic urban church, and an established suburban church. His experience as a lead pastor has provided numerous opportunities to coach and mentor pastors across the country. Jason and his beautiful wife, Monica, are the proud parents of six children and live on Anastasia Island, Florida. @jasondaye