Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Essential Guide to Reopening Your Church Post-COVID-19

Essential Guide to Reopening Your Church Post-COVID-19

#5 Prepare Your Church to Welcome People In-Person


If you have been focusing on ministering to your community during the crisis, there will be new families that have connected to your church yet have never walked through your church doors. You only have one chance to make that first impression on those who have been introduced to your church online but have never visited, so take time now to prepare to welcome these new guests.

Here are some ideas for your team to process as you prepare:

  • Children’s ministry areas – When connecting with new families in your community, perhaps the most crucial area to focus on is your nursery and children’s ministry space. Parents will often endure coffee, music and preaching that they might find lacking, however they likely will not accept children’s ministry that they feel is unsafe or subpar. Now is the time to evaluate and freshen up your kids’ ministry areas. Look into fresh coats of paint, shampooed carpets or even new flooring installed, sanitized toys, tables, chairs, etc. Remove broken or overly used furniture, toys and books. The goal is to make the space safe and appear welcoming. An easy and affordable way to transform your nursery and children’s ministry areas and incorporate a fun and inviting theme is by using easy-to-apply wall graphics.
  • Signage – Clear, welcoming signage is always appreciated, especially when you reopening your church to your community. Try to think like someone who has never been to your church before… what signage is going to be helpful to them?  Both outdoor and indoor banners and signage are useful. As mentioned earlier, you will want to let those who drive by your church know when you are reopening. You will also want to update people about your safety precautions, especially near your children’s areas. Here are some ideas for signage that you will want to consider:
    • Welcome Back
    • Our Doors are Open
    • Directional signage (parking, entrance, kids’ ministry, etc)
    • Safety measures (signage at hand sanitizer stations, nursery, etc)
  • Website – You will also want to assess your website and determine what needs to be updated.  Now might be a good time to refresh your entire website, especially since people will be checking there to learn more about your reopening details and safety measures. Outreach Sites provides stunning websites custom-designed for your church at prices to fit most any church budget, and you get Outreach Social Facebook graphics and posts for free.  If you have begun streaming your worship services, be sure your website reflects that well. A helpful free tool for streaming from Facebook or YouTube directly onto your church website is FreeOnlineChurch.com.

 

#6 Consider Your Stage of Life Ministries, especially Kids and Senior Adults


There are two groups that might be more hesitant to engage once you reopen your church, but for different reasons:

  • Senior adults, due to increased vulnerability and potential health issues, and
  • Children, due to heightened concerns for their safety from parents.

How will you keep these groups engaged?

Many seniors have jumped the digital gap during COVID-19 out of necessity. Some that were not utilizing the internet have begun. What does that mean for your senior adult ministry?  Maybe your church can purchase inexpensive Chromebooks for seniors who do not have computer access or even pay for wifi service.

Families may not come back to church as quickly.  If this is the case in your area, your children’s ministry team will need to continue being innovative in connecting with families.

These ideas can be effectively adapted to either age group:

  • Personal visits, even if from a distance – Ministry leaders and volunteers can physically stop by the homes of senior adults or families with children and greet them from a distance. You can drop off age-appropriate gifts such as puzzles, craft supplies, activity books, magazines, devotional guides, fresh baked goods and the like. Even something as simple as a handheld sign from the driveway can put a smile on someone’s face.
  • Ministry activities – Be sure to let these individuals know they have not been forgotten by creating ministry experiences that can be delivered digitally. Online get-togethers can easily be scheduled through Google Hangouts or other services. Create a ministry schedule with a combination of planned activities and open times to simply talk and fellowship. Join together for a craft or a game online. Bible stories and more in-depth studies can be shared via virtual groups, as well.
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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