THOUGHTS ABOUT "COMING BACK"
I really miss gathering with my church family! And I know you do as well! I am thankful, however, we can stay connected via live stream on Sunday mornings and through various zoom and on-line opportunities during the week. While we are grateful for these experiences, they certainly do not compare to the on-site experiences as the people of GOD.
As you already know, the state has transitioned from "stay at home" to "safer at home," meaning the government strongly encourages Coloradans to stay home as much as possible, but does not order it, and also allows some businesses and services to start up again. So we are getting optimistic that we can possibly begin gathering again as a church family in June.
Our church staff/leadership team continues the conversation of what "church life will look like" when we reopen. I agree with my friend, pastor Wayne Robertson of the Morningside Church in Valdosta, Georgia. He said, "We are not wanting our passion to exceed wisdom.... We are trying our best to walk with that as faithfully as we know how."
So, the question we are now asking is not, "When will in-person church services resume," but, "What will they look like when they do?" Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of the Executive Committee, said, "Everything in the world has changed over these past few weeks. Therefore, we must adapt to these changes in order to meet the challenges of today. The normal of yesterday will not be the normal for tomorrow." He added, "While we want to go back to church (services) soon, we also want to go back to church safely."
For many churches in America, leaders are anticipating an incremental approach. Pastor Micah Fries of Brainard Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, said, "We anticipate that reopening will not be instantaneous, but rather more like a slow return over a period of months."
In our current church staff/leadership team meetings, we are addressing the following questions:
1. Should we have one or two worship services?
2. Should we have Sunday morning Life Groups?
3. In the worship service(s), should we “pass the offering plate” or should we place offering plates at designated doors as people enter/exit the building?
4. Before members come back, what should we do to sanitize the building? When should we do it?
5. Are we going to offer children’s church? And, if so, will spacing be different? And, if we go to two services, how will the time “look” for the children? And what about pre-school and nursery ministry?
6. What will be our strategy to clean and sanitize the church on a weekly basis for the indefinite future once we start back?
7. Will door greeters do their ministry differently? Or at all? Bulletins?
8. Will we need to “distance” the chairs in the worship center?
9. Will we reopen the doors of the church with a Sunday morning worship service only strategy, putting Sunday and Wednesday ministries on hold until the fall? And, if so, will we continue to offer or even add classes/ministries on-line?
10.Should we turn even more attention to on-line Life Groups?
I invite our church family and friends to pray for our church staff/leadership team as we seek GOD's wisdom in discerning His will for our church's immediate future. We are claiming James 1:5: "Whenever anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of GOD...."