01 Sep Preparing For Fall Church During COVID-19: Using ConnectNow to Keep Connected During COVID
Oh, how the times they are a-changin’.
We’ll spare you the “new normal” talk and just get down to it. Running and operating a church today is difficult during COVID times. Tough decisions must be made, such as whether or not to hold in-person church services. And, if you decide to do so, how can you ensure that it is done safely?
Whether you plan on reopening your doors in the Fall, have already been holding in-person services, or are still unsure of what to do, here are some suggestions for ensuring your church is adequately prepared during COVID.
Reduce Max Occupancy
If you’re planning on having in-person services, it’s highly recommended that you reduce the max occupancy. Think of your most crowded church day ever and how closely packed the pews can be. Social distancing is impossible with an overpacked church. So, consider offering multiple services throughout the day with reduced occupancy. That way, people can still attend service but can do so safely with 6+ feet between them and the next person.
Give Clear Instructions For Your Congregation on How to Be Safe During a Service
If your church is open in the Fall, your church members may have some anxieties about coming in. However, many certainly want to go to church; they just want to make sure they can do so safely. To help ease their anxieties, offer clear instructions for what they should do while entering the church (for example, using hand sanitizer stations that have been placed at the entrance, staying 6 feet away from others, don’t come if you feel ill, etc.).
In addition, be transparent about what you’re doing as a church to keep the space clean. Below are some examples of what those could be.
Implement a Mask Requirement
Masks are one of the best methods for reducing the coronavirus spread, and implementing a mask policy inside the church is a great way to keep everyone safe. You can also purchase some masks in bulk and offer them at the entryway for anyone who has forgotten to bring their own.
Regularly Disinfect Your Church
Cleaning your church before and after any church services is a great way to rid your church space of any germs. Even if you reduce the number of people that can be in your church at a given time, you’ll still have a high volume of people entering and exiting your church over the course of the day. Therefore, it is crucial to constantly keep your church clean.
Here is a fantastic resource on how to clean interior spaces during COVID.
Make Sure Your Church is Well-Ventilated
Another tip that is going around in terms of keeping indoor spaces safe during COVID is ensuring the area is properly ventilated. According to the EPA, “ensuring proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the concentration of airborne contaminants, including viruses, indoors.” However, improving your church’s ventilation and opening windows and doors should be used in addition to the other tips listed here. The EPA mentions that proper ventilation alone will not keep people 100% safe from coronavirus.
Offer Communion in Individual Wrapped Packaging & Don’t Use a Communal Wine Cup
Communion can’t be conducted the old-fashioned way for the time being. However, there are ways to offer communion safely. For example, take a look at these prefilled communion cups. While they might not be ideal, they can get the job done.
Offer Virtual Church Services
If you and your church members don’t feel comfortable holding in-person church services, offering virtual services is always viable. Here is another resource to check out, which offers tips for creating a fruitful online worship experience.
How ConnectNow and ReachNow Can Help You Stay Connected With Your Congregation
Regardless of whether or not you have in-person church services this fall, staying connected with members of your congregation will still be difficult. After all, not everyone will come to church during COVID—especially the most vulnerable of your church members.
For this reason, ConnectNow is an excellent investment that churches should be making today. With ConnectNow, you can easily stay in touch with your visitors by collecting their name, address, and cell phone number.
In addition, ReachNow—another solution from mobileAxept—allows you to send timely text messages to your congregation. Most of us read every single text message so it’s a great way to quickly communicate with your members. Such messages can include:
- Daily or weekly devotional messages
- Updates on weather delays or closures
- New sermon series announcements
- Mission trip updates
- Calls for volunteers
- Event reminders
- Prayer requests
- Giving appeals
These solutions will allow you to stay in touch with your congregation, even when you’re apart. To get started with ReachNow and ConnectNow, contact mobileAxept today!