How One Texas Church Reopened Their Services
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The body of Christ must gather regularly for worship. Not only do our gatherings glorify God, they are also necessary for our spiritual health. Gathering is an essential part of who we are as the church, and how we are called to do life together.
In the midst of this pandemic, gathering again as a church comes with some risk. Yet life is not without risk. We navigate risk daily in nearly every choice we make.
As the country reopens, is there a way we can reasonably meet during this time, while being diligent to protect the most vulnerable among us? I think there is. But how you reopen depends largely on where you live, the size of your congregation, and the building space available.
Below is an example of how my church, Metro Bible Church in South Lake, TX, has reopened.
The elders sent these guidelines to our church members so as to enable us to bridge the gap on our journey from sheltering-at-home to meeting regularly as before.
Governor Abbott has modified the guidelines for churches to meet as essential services and those guidelines take precedence statewide. So, with that said, we plan to gather for worship Sunday, April 26th, 2020 and subsequent Sundays with the following measures to ensure that our people are well-protected. However, if you are uncomfortable about gathering in person for worship, please do not feel pressure to attend. Stay home. We will be offering the livestream on our website here and YouTube at 10:30 am.
- We are asking all those saints over 65, or with underlying at risk health conditions (diabetes, etc.) to remain at home until a time we deem the risk has abated. We will follow this closely in the coming weeks.
- If you are not feeling well, running a fever or have a cough, please stay at home.
- Our fellowship time at 10:00 am will be outside. Please do not shake hands or hug and make sure you maintain six feet of distance.
- No coffee or breakfast will be served. Please feel free to bring your own coffee from home.
- There will be no Equipping Hour, nursery or children’s church.
- At 10:20, we will admit people into the gymnasium by family units. Please utilize the hand sanitizer provided for you at the entrance.
- Seating will be in clusters and arranged by family. This seating arrangement will remain the same week by week to minimize any risk.
- Upon completion of the service, we will dismiss you by family for fellowship in the parking lot. Please again utilize the hand sanitizer at the door on your way out.
See below for an example of the seating arrangements for Sunday, April 26th, 2020.
Looking forward to worshipping with you Sundays!
I also provided a video tour of our church’s sanctuary and explained social distancing guidelines here.