Reopening church can feel like a divisive topic. It’s challenging because states are reopening at a pace set by their governors, and that pace differs from state to state. Even within the states, you’ll find different cities and counties have another set of rules for reopening. On top of that, your congregation probably feels different from each other on whether it’s too soon to reopen or not soon enough.
No matter where your church falls in all of this, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick look at a few must-know trends as churches reopen their doors. You can apply or expand on these decisions when the time is right for your church to reopen.
1. A continued focus on live streaming and technology
Many churches are emerging from this crisis with a higher value on live streaming their church services and making sermons available online—even as they reopen. They realize some people have underlying health conditions within their family, others are in difficult life seasons, whether caring for small children or elderly parents, that isn’t conducive to weekly in-person services, and still others may simply not feel comfortable gathering just yet.
Churches are doing an excellent job of continuing to communicate through multiple channels for those that aren’t ready for physical gatherings and for those that are. Updating their website, using their church management platform to send targeted emails, offering online giving, and sending mass text messages have all been helpful to communicate outside the four walls.
And this will continue to be a trend beyond the circumstances that we’re facing now. People will get familiar with watching services online, texting gifts or giving online, and they’ll continue seeking out online ministry during vacations (or anytime!) they can’t attend or miss a service.
2. New roles and responsibilities for staff and volunteers
Churches are conducting training sessions in advance of reopening to train their serving teams on social distancing and touchless methods. This builds confidence, so volunteers know to wear face masks, maintain a proper distance, avoid contact by waiving and not shaking hands, and to know which doors have been designated as enter only and exit only.
If you’re not sure exactly where to start with training and sanitizing, check out the CDC’s Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Community Facilities.
3. Check-in and scheduled service times
Another trend is giving people the option to choose service times and reserve their seat by registering online. With many states with capacity limits of 25%, an RSVP registration is a great way to encourage people to sign up and follow guidelines.
If your church provides multiple service times, such as Sunday 9:00am, and Sunday 11:00am, list each on your form and place a button to register next to each service time. You can do the same if offering services in multiple rooms too.
Using Kindrid, you can create a form that allows people to sign up for specific services, and then limits the number of people per service. Embed the form on your website and include the link for people to sign up on social media, emails, and other places online you can reach your congregation.
4. Keeping a close eye on the weather
A trend that's been popular (even before churches started reopening) was drive-up services. Now, people are taking it up a notch. If weather permits, churches are leaving entrances open, so there’s no need to touch door handles. Some churches are holding their services, small groups, and gatherings outside where it’s much easier for people to social distance.
Wherever your church is in the process of reopening, we’ll keep you posted on trends and tips for a touchless and impactful experience.
Want more information and tips? Watch Reopening Church: Touchless Tech for a Safer Reopening and check out the free resources!