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Essential Guide to Reopening Your Church Post-COVID-19

#3 Continue Your Online Ministries

Most churches have been emphasizing and growing their ministries online. The majority of pastors and ministry leaders we have been speaking with recognize that online ministry will be an ongoing opportunity for local churches. You will want to consider how you continue ministering digitally.

  • What ministries will you continue to provide online?
  • What will those ministries look like once in-person gatherings are permitted?

Pastors have increased the way they are connecting with their people throughout the week. Online daily prayer times, periodic devotionals, regular updates, and the like, have become a part of the cadence of ministry from a distance. We highly recommend you continue connecting with your people digitally during the week. Church members have appreciated these additional opportunities to engage.  Although you and your team will want to discuss how your online ministries may need to be adjusted, avoid the temptation to stop them altogether as meaningful ministry moments have happened and will continue to happen through digital ministry opportunities.

This includes streaming your weekend worship gatherings. Not only will some people feel more comfortable staying at home during this time, across the USA pastors have shared that people who have never walked through the doors of their churches are attending online worship services. The gospel is being clearly presented and people are dedicating their lives to Jesus! Members of churches are inviting their family and friends to join them online. Christ-following spouses are seeing their unbelieving husbands and wives “go to” church with them right in their living rooms. As the Church, we want to continue to keep these opportunities open to those who are seeking.


#4 Provide Safe Sanitization

As mentioned previously, responsible safety measures are critical for your church.  Your priorities should be to protect those who are most vulnerable and provide a safe and secure environment for those who are joining you for worship and other ministry activities.  If you thought moms were concerned about the cleanliness of your nursery before this pandemic, you better believe it is going to be of even greater concern post-COVID-19.  You need to be thinking about the safety items and supplies well in advance of reopening your church because supplies for many products are currently limited. You also want to be sure you are using FDA approved protection equipment and purchasing from a trusted supplier.

Here is a list of items to include in your safety measures:

    • Touchless Hand Sanitizing Stations These will become commonplace and expected anywhere groups of people are gathering. This is one item that is probably here to stay and part of our new normal. At a minimum, you should have a hand sanitizing station at each entrance into your facilities and also near your children’s areas. The touchless feature is important because it helps maintain cleanliness as opposed to simply a container of hand sanitizer with a manual pump. Be sure to purchase a good supply of hand sanitizer to keep the stations stocked. The most efficient stations are those that can easily be filled with any sanitizer rather than those that require a special bag insert to refill.  This allows you to keep jugs of sanitizer on hand and simply top off your stations as needed.
    • Face Masks In many areas face masks will continue to be recommended. You can have face masks available for your staff and volunteers, but also consider having them available to those who attend your worship gatherings.  Some churches are also purchasing face masks and using them to bless their communities by giving them to those who need them most. Be sure the face masks are FDA approved to demonstrate your commitment to care and safety.
    • Touchless Forehead Thermometers There have been some conversations that these may be required in some areas for public gatherings. Before entry, individuals would need to be quickly checked to ensure they are not running a fever.
    • Safety Signage –Do not forget to have signage that clearly communicates your safety precautions. This not only helps direct people in what is expected of them, such as sanitizing their hands, but also demonstrates that your church cares for the safety of all who enter.

Place orders for sanitization and safety equipment well in advance, as many of these products are in limited supply. To get FDA certified products that do not take from the equipment reserves of our hospitals and healthcare workers, visit outreach.com/face-masks-sanitizer-stations

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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