REOPENING THE CHURCH BLOG
More research, data, analysis, and resources to help you and your church navigate the reopening process.
During times of trial, such as living in the midst of a pandemic, it is hard to trust and act in faith. Following in pursuit of Christians who have come before us serves as an example of how to continue acting in faith during difficult circumstances, so we can show our love for God in our care for the community.
As we consider the book of Job, we learn that there is more order than we know. This is an important insight when we are coping with something like the coronavirus. Our job is to discover ways to serve and honor God even when in crisis and to trust him to sustain us as we find a way forward that will testify to his faithfulness.
What will your faith community look like in the months and years ahead? Reopening your church with a simple, strategic plan is essential. This crisis creates a defining moment of opportunity for spiritual growth for you and your church leaders.
The process of reopening elements of daily life has been a challenge, especially as the church strives to become more involved in the social issues surrounding it. Perhaps God is reopening the church, but not in the ways we expect, perhaps God is reopening our eyes to see the needs in our communities and our world.
In some way or another, all churches have been radically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bruce Wydick considers these effects in a comprehensive, holistic sense from the perspective of a developmental economist, addressing the economic, social, psychological, and spiritual impacts of the pandemic on the church.
COVID-19 has impacted every church in one way or another. Many pastors feel like they are in the dark about how they should reopen the church—if at all—and there does not seem to be much consensus on the matter. LifeWay Research decided to survey pastors across the country, and compiled their responses in order to shed some light on what different churches are doing.
Between safety precautions, personal health, liturgical adaptations, racial and ethnic tensions, and other ministry considerations, there are many things to weigh when contemplating and planning for reopening church facilities. Here is a summary of the resources you can find on www.Reopeningthechurch.com.
A bridge connects what was in the past to what will be in the future. The Church needs to create a "bridge" to lament what once was—corporate worship, fellowship, communion—and to grieve the people lost during the pandemic. But, we also need a fresh perspective and input into the future.
Ever since Christ’s admonition to care for the sick, Christians have been known for their leadership in providing healthcare services to communities, including the establishment and management of hospitals as we know them today. This is our history and our witness and something we are called to do.
While many church plants may have few facility options right now for regular worship gatherings, as the country is opening up, there are more and more opportunities for them to have in-person gatherings that can meaningfully connect people, especially the kinds of people they are intending to reach.
We are in a technological world that many years ago, we could have never dreamed of. We believe it is crucial for the Church to learn the best strategies for creating links between the church and the internet. Technology is a helpmate to churches but is also one that requires serious theological reflection and conversation.
The global COVID-19 pandemic presented difficult challenges for everyone, especially church leaders, many of whom had never utilized the internet for their church services at all but were forced to move online at a rapid pace to adapt their worship services to social distancing requirements. We wanted to provide a resource where leaders could learn from the experience of other pastors’ technology integration.
Church reopening efforts need to be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and in a manner that supports the safety and well-being of the church body and local community.
Though the plagues I studied resulted in the death of many Christians, throughout them God protected his Church and even used pandemics as a catalyst for growth. Ultimately, my hope is that Christians would use the current pandemic as an opportunity to demonstrate radical Christian love to one another and the rest of the world.
Reopening churches too soon or in ways that aren’t safe may also contribute to the spread of the virus and COVID-19 deaths in our communities, and church leaders need to be thinking about how to love their neighbors inside and outside the church as they make those decisions.
We must pay attention to Christian theology as we respond to this crisis. So, the Ecumenical Consultation on Protocols for Worship, Fellowship, and Sacraments set out to offer a theologically sound, pastorally sensitive, and publicly responsible witness to the gospel during the pandemic.