Practical Conversation Guide
As federal and state guidelines are changing from quarantine and shelter-in-place to reengagement with businesses and communities, it is imperative to understand that the world has changed significantly. The church has changed, as well, with respect to how we worship, equip, and, above all, make disciples.
As government “orders” were peeled back like layers of an onion, so implementation strategies for returning to public gatherings,
church events, and public worship will experience a “rolling out” of guidelines. Some states should anticipate different guidelines county by county.
It is critical for churches to begin preparing now for the return of on-campus activities. A plan should include several dynamics including spiritual, leadership, and personal goals.
LifeWay Church Assistance Package
The Church Assistance Package from LifeWay is a collection of offers, promotions, and resources designed to help fuel every ministry area of the local church. This package is designed to help churches as they deal with the impact of the COVID-19 situation and as they plan to reopen their facilities and gather in person. It includes things like:
- Access to curriculum resources and streaming Bible study videos
- Offers on church supplies
- Credits to LifeWay church billing accounts
- Free access to the LifeWay Generosity digital giving platform
Return: A Resource to Prepare Churches and Christian Organizations for the New Normal of COVID-19 Ministry
Concilium Inc. President Scott Brawner published a white paper designed to help pastors and leaders of Christian organizations balance their desire for Gospel obedience and protecting parishioners and staff in the new normal of COVID-19.
This document strikes a balance between stepping out in faith and using godly wisdom with the process of reopening.
Remember Church Security
Missouri Baptists are eager to celebrate their first Sunday back at church, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises worshipers not to let down their guards with respect to church security.
Most local churches have security measures in place, and these should be reviewed and practiced as they open their doors in the days ahead.
Brian Harrell, assistant director for Infrastructure Security for DHS, issued a letter April 8 to U.S. houses of worship advising them to review security plans and procedures when they resume in-person services.
Harrell noted that while “there are no imminent or credible threats at this time, there has been an increase in online hate speech intended to encourage violence or use the ongoing situation as an excuse to spread hate.”
He also pointed to “stressors caused by the pandemic” that may contribute to the likelihood someone will choose to engage in violence or influence the target of their attack. According to Harrell, the threats come mostly from white supremacists, Black Hebrew nationalists, and jihadists.
Additionally, the reopening of churches may be controversial among some citizens who fear such a step is premature.
The DHS letter seeks only to raise awareness among houses of worship, not to increase anxiety or fear. Exercising caution and taking prudent security measures should help ensure that the first Sunday back in church is a true celebration.