3 questions your church should ask before gathering again

April 20, 2020

As we entered the new decade on Jan. 1, 2020, I doubt anyone expected that within the next 90 days most of our weekend worship gatherings would be halted and moved online. Who could have imagined an Easter where we would gather with our families in front of computer screens, mobile phones and smart TVs instead of celebrating our risen King in our church buildings? What an unusual moment in time we find ourselves in.

While each of us eagerly anticipates the lifting or relaxing of the stay-at-home order by our governor, believers find themselves desperately missing their church gatherings. While lifting the order will open our church doors, how will churches function in the aftermath of COVID-19? There are questions and conversations that pastors and church leaders should probably be having now. Following are three big questions that should be part of these conversations.

How will we deal with restrictions on mass gatherings?
A lifting of the stay-at-home order will be exciting news for all of us, but will likely still include some form of limits on mass gatherings and continued social distancing measures. We don’t know what those limits may be, but what will your church do if the gathering limit is 50? Or 100? What will large churches do to honor these gathering limitations?

While many churches hosted multiple worship services prior to COVID-19, this will no doubt become a necessity for most in the near future. Questions to consider might be:

  • What times will our worship gatherings be held?
  • How might we strategically stagger attendance to ensure certain services (such as 11 a.m.) do not exceed the limits?
  • How does a multiple-service plan affect our children’s ministry?

While the tragedy of COVID-19 has been devastating, it has also been a time of learning how to be the church in difficult times.

How will we create a safe and sanitary environment?
Sanitation thoughts for the church post-COVID-19 will most likely never be the same. Prior to the coronavirus, thoughts of church sanitation were much different than they will be afterward. Now is the time to begin considering:

  • Weekly sanitation of your building.
  • Establishing sanitation stations that include hand sanitizer.
  • Having a plan for social-distancing procedures for seating and classrooms.

Churches will need a plan for regular and ongoing cleaning and disinfecting of their facilities. Helpful guidelines have been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What did we learn?
COVID-19 has caused churches to wrestle with many issues they might not have imagined before.. Questions like: How do we do digital church? How can we activate our small groups and Sunday Schools online? How does the church “meet” when we literally cannot meet together? How does the church minister to the needs of those who are high-risk?

COVID-19 also pressed our churches to figure out what was essential. The church was forced to pivot and adapt multiple times during the crisis. There were undoubtedly different solutions to the many issues your church encountered. Were your solutions just for the crisis, or do they actually make the church better? How do we continue the things that make your church better when the stay-at-home order is lifted? What things were you doing before COVID-19 that were not missed during the crisis? Maybe there are some conversations your leadership needs to have coming out of the crisis.

The window for having these conversations is open. While the tragedy of COVID-19 has been devastating, it has also been a time of learning how to be the church in difficult times. Now is the time to begin establishing your re-entry plan for your weekly gatherings.


by Mike Pittman  
Church Planting  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

So you’re a follower of Jesus: ‘Now What?’

I vividly remember the season when I decided to give up running and join a gym. Up until then I had been an avid runner and enjoyed it. It was a great stress reliever for me, but I didn’t have much physical strength — I was weak and I wanted to change that.    I remember going to...

Finding God’s ‘shells of grace’ in our western culture

The 2016 Disney Pixar film “Finding Dory” details the life of a blue tang fish named Dory who deals with short-term memory loss. The animated movie explores complex issues such as mental health, the power of community, and the interplay between humans and wildlife.    One theme...

Considering a strategic vision for digital engagement

There is a difference between using something and leveraging something. You can use money to buy things you may or may not need. But that does not equate to leveraging it. Leveraging money as an investment could double or triple the initial investment. Using takes something at...

The beauty of adoption

Mom and dad never called me their adopted son. I was just their son. I was born into an unfortunate situation, but I was adopted into a blessed family. In 1966, adoption was not as highlighted in the American church as it is today. In the spring of 1998, I was a seminary student...

5 areas where pastors can grow in the new year

In the optometry profession, 20/20 means clarity or sharpness of vision.    For most people, the year 2020 was anything but clear. In fact, 2020 was as unclear as a year could be because of the repercussions of COVID-19, especially if you are leading in ministry as a pastor.   ...

NC mountain man returns home to plant new church

People say if you live in the North Carolina mountains, they’ll always call you back.   For Michael Childers, that’s pretty much what happened. Except it was God who called him back, not the hills, he says.   Drive to Brevard over in western North Carolina, and then head out of...

Resolve to pray for and encourage your pastor in the new year

Resolve to pray for and encourage your pastor in the new year Happy New Year! I know that those are welcome words for many of us, myself included. Given the events of the past year, we are all ready to return to some semblance of normal, although normal will undoubtedly look...

Speaker added, registration open for 2021 Disciple-making Conference

Church leadership coach, and author Will Mancini has been added to the lineup of speakers for the 2021 N.C. Baptist Disciple-making Conference, which is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 23-24, in a hybrid format. Registration for the conference is now open.   Mancini,...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!