Churches are faced with myriad decisions about how to make worship facilities safe and sanitary as they decide on the best timing to reopen for in-person worship and ministry programs. How will you manage traffic flow and seating to keep people socially distanced? Do you have enough hand sanitizer stations strategically placed throughout the building? How will you receive the offering and share communion to avoid spreading COVID? While all of these are significant questions, there's another equally critical one to ask: Are your people ready to return to church?
In the past two weeks, Aspen Group hosted webinars for approximately 500 church leaders. When we asked attendees which feels more daunting—leaving the church building because of COVID-19 shutdown orders, or reopening church as COVID restrictions ease, an overwhelming majority said relaunching church is a much more daunting prospect. To help you sort through some of the questions you may have about relaunching church in a COVID-19 culture, Aspen Group will present a virtual workshop—Relaunching Church in a New Reality—on Wednesday, May 20, 3:00-4:15 pm EDT, as part of Barna’s State of the Church webcast.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Churches have experienced economic downturns, natural disasters, and more. But previous to COVID-19 hitting the U.S., there has never been a period in modern history when faith communities have been unable to gather and church operations are so badly disrupted as they are today. This disruption has affected every aspect of church life, including giving toward the general fund—every church’s revenue mainstay.
When the COVID-19 crisis forced houses of worship to close their doors, most churches quickly adapted and pivoted to doing online church. According to a Barna/Gloo’s Church Pulse Weekly poll in mid-April, only 3% of the 875 pastors were not doing church services online. Pastors have had to adjust their preaching style to accommodate moving from a big platform to speaking to their flock on a small screen. Churches have also had to learn how to handle the offering moment virtually.
When COVID-19 hit, pastors had to make the shift, nearly overnight, of leading from a sanctuary platform with a room full of people to preaching and teaching on our small screens. As I’ve watched pastors quickly adapt, I can’t get The Producers, a smash hit Broadway musical that was later adapted as a movie, out of my mind.
Since COVID-19 forced the closure of churches across America, we've been listening and learning with church leaders to understand the myriad implications of doing church in new ways. Here are some of the trusted ministry organizations we’ve been following to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on churches:
In this era of church building closures to promote social distancing, congregations are learning anew what it means to be the Church. Reports of churches providing front-line assistance to support medical relief, food distribution, and other social services during this COVID-19 crisis has, in many ways, highlighted what is true: the Church never was the building; it is and always has been about the people.
With churches across the country forced to close their doors to avoid the spread of COVID-19, many pastors and leadership teams have been scrambling to figure out new ways to assemble for worship and fellowship. A church in Kentucky held a worship service in an unused drive-in movie theater, and many others are trying to learn how to livestream for the first time.
Editor's Note: Greg Snider and Josh Gregoire of Aspen Group presented a talk to a full room of leaders from across the country at Exponential in Orlando on March 3, 2020 on "3 Myths About Facilities that Keep Church Planters from Multiplying." Their presentation drew heavily from the same content featured in the post below. Based on positive feedback on the content of their talk, we're featuring this post again on our blog in case you missed it in previous weeks. Pastors who are focused on church planting and multiplying often focus on leadership and ministry as the key aspects of launching new churches. But one critical piece is almost always missing from the multiplication plan—a facility strategy.