How many posts have been written about churches re-opening? Way too many! I mean my inbox has been flooded with posts with subjects like, “Thoughts on churches re-opening,” “things to consider when re-opening,” “when should you re-open.”
Im overwhelmed and a bit exhausted with it. I hesitated even writing about re-opening because every blogger who writes about churches has tried to tackle the subject of re-opening. But before you stop reading, stick this one out. It’s a tad different of a post about the subject that I hope encourages you.
1. Every church will re-open a bit differently and that’s ok.
Listen, not every church is going to do the exact same distancing guidelines that you plan to do, and that’s ok.
Not every church will re-open as fast or as slow as you plan to do, and that’s ok.
Differing opinions about re-opening is the beautiful thing about churches. We can be different and still be okay with one another.
By the way, neither decision of re-opening isn’t a revelation of your spirituality. In other words, if another church opens before you, that doesn’t mean that they are more spiritual than you 🙂
Be okay with the differences and support one another.
2. Don’t be a bad news headline
Look, bad press is bad press. Don’t be that church we see on the news because you refused to listen to experts or you went against the government and claimed that meeting was your rights.
Don’t ignore social distancing guidelines either. Educate yourself and protect your people.
Look, I get it. I recognize the tension, but don’t be a headline, please.
3. Recognize that you may only see 20% of your attendance show up to begin with
It could be a tad higher or a tad lower, but I’m sharing a average percentage that Tony Morgan has found in his survey of churches that have reopened.
Don’t expect your normal attendance numbers or you will be sorely dissappointed
4. Be okay with a pivot
I love what our church is doing. The campus that I serve at meets in an elementary school so we have been told that we can’t return until “possibly” July. We decided to try an outdoor service. We aren’t locking into outdoor every week. We plan to try it once, and if it goes well, we plan to do it again in two weeks.
The point is, when you go back to normal, be prepared to pivot again.
You plan to do 3 services but only fill 2, be okay with pivoting to 2 services the next week.
You set up chairs for 150, and you get 25 people to attend, consider not doing a service and go fully online again or set up a much smaller amount of chairs.
A person in the congregation tests positive for the virus, be prepared to shut it down for 2-3 weeks.
The point is..when you go back, you may not fully go back. You may have to pivot and make adjustments and that’s ok. After all, you have been making a lot of last minute adjustments over the last 10 weeks so you can do this.
5. Don’t go to the extreme to where church is uncomfortable for people
If you obeyed every CDC guideline, you may require masks, no congregational singing, limited seating that is 6 foot apart, no greeters, no community, no kids ministry, temperature checking on the way in, one way in and one way out, and sit in your car until you are escorted directly into the service.
Many of those things need to happen, but I think all of those things combined in a service is a bit much.
Don’t go to the extreme to where church is uncomfortable for people because it will hurt you in the long run.
In fact, some are waiting until they can run church the way they run church and that’s ok (possibly even best).
Everyone has opinions about re-opening and my advice to you is pray and make the wisest decision for your church that you can. Seek advice but in the end, do what’s best for your church and THATS OK.