Practical Suggestions for Churches

Practical Suggestions for Churches


(March 14, 2020)


As we navigate through these uncharted waters dealing with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, every organization seems to have a list of suggestions of how to survive. In light of those ideas, I thought it would be helpful to offer some specific suggestions to our churches as they continue to have, or seek to have, services during these difficult times.

While the CDC and other health organizations offer specific health and medical guidance, the following suggestions are simple and practical ideas that every church should consider.


Greeters

Having greeters open church doors for attendees will eliminate a variety of people from touching the doors, as well as eliminate the greeters from shaking hands with each person.


Offerings

Instead of passing the “plates,” consider placing offering buckets either at the front of the church during offering time or placing them strategically at doors when people exit.


Protect the Vulnerable

Encourage the elderly and those with compromised immune systems to take extra precautions, including staying away from large church settings.


Use “Social Distancing”

Although we come from a culture that encourages connectivity, including laying on of hands and greeting each other with an embrace, this is a time to step back from those traditions that could potentially spread the virus.


Smaller Service Gatherings

In areas where the local governmental authorities are requesting that groups no larger than 100 or 250 come together, consider going to smaller service venues/gatherings and have multiple services throughout the week, not just on Sunday mornings.


Emphasize Small Groups

If the governmental authorities are recommending that only a limited number of people congregate, use Sunday school class groups or other small groups to continue the mission and focus of your local church.


Communicate about Giving

Regrettably, many people will not give to your church unless they actually attend services. It is important to communicate to them that all of the ministries of the church are continuing and that the church needs their support. Even though you are not having your regular meetings, encourage them to be loyal stewards to God‘s Kingdom. Electronic giving options are very helpful in these times.


Stop “Let’s Greet Each Other” Time

During times like this, the “meet and greet“ times should be eliminated during, before, and after services.


Continue to Reach Out to Your Community

With school closures and businesses closing, there are going to be families, and especially children, that may have to go without food and other necessities. Consider an outreach effort to those children who may not be getting breakfast and lunch at their school. Also, consider how you can provide assistance to those that may be unemployed due to the virus outbreak.


Go “Electronic”

If you have a substantial outbreak of the coronavirus in your area, you may need to go fully to an “electronic” church format. Live stream, videoconference, and even Facebook Live may be options that you need to consider. Always remember to remind those watching to give so that the ministries of the church can continue, even though they are not attending church in your physical building.


Watch Your Church Budget Closely

If you are unable to have church for several weeks or if your attendance is off substantially for an extended period of time, it is most likely that your church’s financial condition is going to deteriorate. It is important that you reach out to your mortgage holder, as well as to your other creditors, and begin to work out payment arrangements with them immediately, rather than waiting until you are in a crisis situation.


Clean Your Church Facilities More Often

Any surface that your church members touch should be cleaned with an alcohol-based disinfectant immediately before and following your services. The CDC provides specific guidance on what products are effective in killing this virus. Extra efforts should be made to protect all surfaces of the church from the spread of the virus.


Extra Attention to Children Areas

While children have not been as adversely impacted by the coronavirus as others, there is a concern that children may be spreading the virus. Therefore, all children’s areas should be cleaned thoroughly before and after every service, including extensive cleaning of all toys.


Sick Staff Should Be Sent Home

Whether the person is a paid staff person or a volunteer, they should be sent home if they exhibit any symptoms of being sick. Even though they may not have the virus, a person that is in a weakened condition could become a carrier for the virus. Those persons should be encouraged to stay home until they are completely well.


Conclusion

There are probably at least another hundred suggestions that you could add to this list. However, the goal is to create an awareness that we need to take extra precautions.

Most importantly, I am reminded that the Bible references 365 scriptures where God tells his people to “fear not.“ Even though we are in a difficult time, we must not have a spirit of fear. Yes, we must take every precaution. However, we serve a God who can resolve all of these issues immediately. Our prayer is that He will do so.

 

Sugerencias prácticas para las iglesias


(14 de marzo de 2020.)


A medida que navegamos a través de estas aguas inexploradas del brote del COVID-19 (coronavirus), cada organización está ofreciendo sugerencias para sobrevivirlo. A la luz de  esas ideas, pensé que sería útil ofrecerles a nuestras iglesias algunas sugerencias específicas en la medida en que continúen ofreciendo sus servicios en estos tiempos difíciles.

Si bien el Centro para la Prevención y el Control de Enfermedades está orientándonos en cuanto a la medicina y salud, a continuación, ofrezco unas sugerencias sencillas y prácticas.


Ujieres

Los ujieres deben estar a cargo de abrir y cerrar las puertas para la gente. Obvien el saludo con la mano.


Ofrendas

En lugar de pasar por las bancas, invite la congregación a pasar al frente y dejar su ofrenda en una canasta o a la salida del servicio.


Proteja a los vulnerables

Exhorte a sus ancianos y a las personas que tengan sistemas inmunológicos comprometidos a quedarse en sus casas.


Distanciamiento social

Aunque venimos de una cultura que fomenta la confraternización, incluyendo la imposición de manos y saludarnos mutuamente con un abrazo, tenemos que dejar a un lado esas tradiciones porque se prestan para propagar el virus.


Servicios más cortos

En las zonas en donde las autoridades estén solicitando la suspensión de asambleas de más de 100 o 250 personas, consideren limitar el horario de los servicios o abrir cultos más pequeños durante la semana.


Células

Si las autoridades recomendaran reuniones limitadas, aproveche el sistema de clases celulares para continuar la misión de la iglesia.


Infórmele a la iglesia sobre las alternativas para la ofrenda

Lo triste es que muchas personas solamente ofrendan cuando asisten al servicio. Comuníqueles que los ministerios todavía necesitan ese apoyo. Anímelas a la fidelidad a Dios. Las alternativas electrónicas vienen a la mano en estos tiempos.


Detenga el saludo cristiano

Elimine los saludos antes, durante y después de los servicios.


Ministre en la comunidad

Muchas familias sufrirán necesidades de comida debido a los cierres de las escuelas y trabajos. Organice una campaña para ayudarles con el desayuno y el almuerzo. Busque las maneras de ayudar a los que hayan perdido sus trabajos.


Opte por la tecnología

Si en su área ocurriera un brote severo, posiblemente tendrá que celebrar sus servicios a través de las plataformas sociales. La transmisión en vivo, la videoconferencia e incluso Facebook Live son buenas alternativas. Recabe el apoyo de su audiencia.


Vigile el presupuesto de su iglesia

Su iglesia puede verse afectada económicamente por las ausencias prolongadas. Comuníquese con su banco y llegue a un acuerdo sobre el pago de su hipoteca, así como con sus otros acreedores. No lo deje para lo último.


Limpie las instalaciones más a menudo

Toda superficie que sea tocada tiene que ser desinfectada con un producto a base de alcohol inmediatamente antes y después del servicio. El CDC ha publicado información acerca de los productos más eficaces contra este virus. Vaya más allá en su labor de desinfectar las superficies.


Atención adicional a las áreas infantiles

Si bien los niños no han sufrido los efectos más serios del coronavirus, existe la preocupación de que sean portadores del virus. Por lo tanto, hay que limpiar a fondo todas las áreas infantiles antes y después de cada servicio, incluyendo a los juguetes.


El personal enfermo debe ser enviado a casa

Si alguna de sus líderes está enferma o presentando síntomas, mándela para su casa. Aunque no haya contraído el virus, sus defensas están bajas y podría convertirse en una portadora. Dígales que se queden descansando hasta que se recuperen.


Conclusión

Estoy seguro de que existen cientos de sugerencias para esta lista. Sin embargo, el objetivo es concienciar sobre la necesidad de precauciones adicionales.

Lo más importante es que la Biblia contiene 365 exhortaciones de parte del Señor a que su pueblo no tema. Aunque estamos en un momento difícil, no debemos temer. Sí, debemos tomar todas las precauciones. Sin embargo, servimos a un Dios que puede resolver todos estos problemas de inmediato. Nuestra oración es que lo haga.

Contact

Church of God Communications

2490 Keith Street, P.O. Box 2430

Cleveland, TN 37320-2430

Email Contact​

www.churchofgod.org

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