If you have not been to on-site services at your church since the pandemic began and are considering returning, here are seven thoughts:
1) Churches are running way less than half what they did per-pandemic; there is more room for distancing than you probably think.
2) Most churches have taken substantial measures to keep people safe. In our case, we have installed one touch faucets, have sanitizer dispensers everywhere and have blocked off every other row.
3) Mask guidelines vary. Ask someone who is already back about the realities of this or call your church office. Here is what I will personally guarantee on this one; people are going to do what makes good sense to them, not what makes good sense to you.
4) If you have questions about how any reported cases throughout the week are disseminated to the congregation, call your church office. Most churches are transparent and have good communication plans.
5) Ask if the nursery and children’s ministries are back in force so you are not surprised. Ask at the check-in desk how things are cleaned and sanitized. Not comfortable? Keep the kids with you.
6) Expect people to be really glad to see you!
7) Expect to instantly remember every wonderful thing you have been missing. There is nothing better than being in church!
Hope this helps!
-Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois