During COVID, the opportunities for ministry impact have increased along with the complexities of how to offer an engaging and safe worship experience. Church leaders have wrestled with what to offer and how to offer it. How can you deliver high-impact, engaging worship services in the midst of constantly changing circumstances? How do you incorporate additional campuses if you’re a multisite church? How can you make the most of your facility during a time of varying usage?
Live Oak Christian Church in Bluffton, South Carolina, dreamed of having a home of their own. Originally, the congregation met in a local school and later moved to the Bluffton School of Dance, but they had a bigger dream. They wanted to build, and that’s where the story takes an unexpected turn. They decided not to build a church. Instead, leaning into the heart of their mission and the needs of the community, they planned to build the Live Oak Performing Arts Center (LOPAC) in the Cultural Arts District of Bluffton Village, the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Many of us initially thought—hoped might be a better word—that COVID-19 would be a mere interruption, quickly resolved. I recently came across an email I sent to our staff in late March in which it was clear that the prospect of the pandemic stretching to Memorial Day was daunting, even scary. I daresay that today most of us are convinced it will be with us well into 2021. Far more than an interruption, COVID has disrupted our lives, our businesses, and our churches. And disruption means breaking apart and separating—you don’t go back to “normal” after a disruption.
If you’re a pastor, you’re likely faced with an onslaught of questions as you consider how and when to reopen your church during this pandemic. How many people can gather? Will we require masks? Do we have enough volunteers? How many people will come back? For every question you’re wrestling about your church as a whole, all of these same questions will have to be answered within your children’s ministry. In this guest post, Missy Purcell, Orange Kids Specialist, shares her reasons why every pastor should include a seat at the leadership table for children's ministry leaders.
Churches are working hard to determine when and how to reopen their facilities in the midst of ever-changing COVID-19 parameters. As you relaunch your church for this next season of ministry, I want to offer some basic principles about design and space. There are two basic roles of your ministry space:
As a design/build/furnish firm for churches, Aspen Group has been helping pastors and their ministry teams navigate the change that comes with church facility projects. Now, in this era of COVID-19, church leaders are experiencing unprecedented change. Every pastor and church leader will need support navigating the difficult leadership issues during this season, particularly as you think about reentering or reopening your building, and especially as you relaunch your church into a new future.
Typically, when we think of church parking lots, we consider issues of traffic flow, volunteer attendance, maintenance, and how many parking spaces we need to support our weekly guests. But during this COVID-19 season, we’re seeing a shift in thinking about parking lots. They're no longer merely a means to access the building. These expansive, open-air spaces have become an extension of the building and a crucial part of relaunching ministries in this COVID-19 era. In the following post, we share innovative ideas from our design team for how to maximize your church parking lot for weekly ministry during the pandemic and beyond.
Most churches have learned how to use digital tools to continue to share the gospel and help people find an anchor in this storm. Week by week, churches have become more adept at producing online worship services and conducting small groups and children’s ministry via social media and video platforms. Now, the urgency of trying to figure out how to shepherd congregations virtually is giving way to a new question—what shape will ministry programs take in light of all we’re learning during this pandemic?
When COVID-19 hit the U.S., church leaders faced the unexpected and overwhelming challenge of closing their doors. You may have had to quickly figure out how to stream services and move ministry activities online. Now, you’re likely grappling with the daunting details of how to reopen your facilities for in-person worship and other ministries. You and your church leadership team are wrestling myriad questions and concerns about how to relaunch church in COVID-safe ways. At the same time, as a leader, you need to lift your eyes, look out at the horizon, and ask, “What have we learned about our church in this crisis that can help us prepare for a new season of ministry?”
Are you feeling unsure about reopening your church’s doors in the midst of COVID-19? You’re not alone. According to findings from the third round of a COVID-19 study conducted by Exponential, 28% of pastors surveyed say they still are unsure when they will reopen their church building, and 67% are choosing not to meet in-person even if local guidelines and restrictions permit it.