Josh Ellis and Keelan Cook from the Union Baptist Association stopped by The Bootcamp to visit with Bob and Jimbo about considerations in re-opening and leading the church after the Covid19 quarantine ends.
Pastors are all over the board in terms of their plans for resuming church gatherings.
Pastors are asking: “What steps should we take in phasing in a return to gathered worship? “Should we go back to normal?”
Our advice: No! Don’t go back to normal. Don’t return to a pre-Covid19 state. There have been so many good things taking place and ministry successes, so keep moving forward.
One concern is that some churches will want to knee-jerk and go back to life as it was pre-Covid19.
This moment of disruption, due to Covid19 is a real godsend to the church. Capitalize on this moment and move forward.
Ken Braddy’s list of 24 questions for Re-opening the church is a great reference point for logistics.
From a leadership standpoint focus on the needs of the people who are in our church, look at the entire system and structure of the church and ask: “Are we rushing back into live services because I want to? Because our people want to? Should we wait for the benefit of our people?”
Regarding lists that you see online for returning to gathered worship know this: it’s just that-a list, a point of reference. Your local context and the needs of your congregation must be considered uniquely.
We suggest getting key leaders together and processing everything logistically and programmatically. Divide them into categories: don’t do this again, start this now, wait to start this later.
We are not post Covid19 yet, the peak is not the goal. The goal is the decline of the infection rate. Officials are talking about opening up the economy to meet the financial needs of businesses and people. This is different from our needs as a church.
We should anticipate that people will likely want to avoid handshakes, hugs, coffee stations, doorknobs, classrooms.
We need to really evaluate what core actions; practices are required to help us fulfill our mission. Our rush to get back together in the building may cause us to overlook the gains we have made during the pause of ministry as normal.
Anticipate that upon returning to gathered worship you will have two groups: those that want to return to community as normal (hugs, handshakes etc.) and those that are afraid to come back and attend worship. Pastor both groups.
One of the most important leadership actions Pastors can take and need to take in this time is this: multiply yourself, invest in leaders who can share the weight and responsibilities of leading in the local church.
Some encouragement for Pastors right now: let others lead, let others preach, develop them and take time to rest.
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