Empty Seats Ready to be Filled

July 2, 2021

Returning to Church Post Pandemic 

As restrictions lift, many Americans are resuming pre-pandemic activities. Dining out, vacationing, getting together with friends, and going back to church are at the top of many people’s lists. 

A recent AP NORC poll showed that people’s post-shutdown plans depend on what they did before the beginning of the pandemic. And if churchgoers attended services at least once a month before the shutdown, 73% say they will return to their religious services

Seats Ready to Be Filled 

While seats may still be empty as people reacquaint themselves with activities outside the home, now is the perfect time to ensure your members feel safe, welcome, and encouraged when they walk through your doors. What the return to church looks like may vary; some things remain constant. 

Outreach recently posted a two-part series about reopening after Covid with some great tactical steps and ideas. But what really stood out was these three truths: 

  1. God is still God. 
  1. We are still called to introduce others to the hope and truth of Christ. 
  1. We still need wise leadership as people are looking for direction. 

Is Your Church Ready? 

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that the church is more than a building  – it’s people, community, and relationships. The forced restrictions provided an opportunity to reflect and recharge. 

So, what you do now as a church should center on informing and ensuring your existing members and new ones (who may have found your ministry via online services) feel welcome and safe. 

  • Prepare your church. Make sure the church is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Have hand sanitizer and masks available at entrances. Stagger service times to allow for cleaning between worship services. 
  • Send invites. Who doesn’t love getting an invitation? Regardless of mail or online, let people know you are ready to welcome them back and what precautions you are taking. 
  • Utilize outdoor spaces. There will be those that feel more comfortable being outside. If you have outdoor spaces, use them. Youth groups, family nights, picnics after services, and Bible study groups can all take place outdoors. Add music and even the typical meeting becomes an event when held throughout your church campus! 
  • Keep streaming. For the people that don’t plan on returning to church yet but still want to worship and feel like part of the community, streaming services is still the best way to do that. 

And church leaders need to remember that you are not creating, or leading, in a vacuum. Be open to new opportunities, welcome new members, launch new programs and lean on others for support and guidance as we navigate the “new” together! 

About CCS:  

CCS is a leading authority on church music copyrights. Our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches and representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. 

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