As many of us are now beginning to host in-person services again, our team wanted to take a second and update you on Highlands' reopening plan, as well as provide some practical tips and tools that may be beneficial to you and your team as you open up your church doors again for services.
Here are some key questions the Highlands team is asking to navigate what reopening will look like:
What does each serve team's responsibilities look like?
It is our job as church leaders to find a way for volunteers to feel needed and known, even if their serve may not be necessary for the current COVID-19 circumstances. Instead of removing a serve team altogether, think through some ways that those volunteers could be repurposed so that they still feel like they're playing a part in making Sundays happen. After all, it'll be helpful to have extra pairs of hands available to help with whatever may come up!
What's the best plan for reintroducing our congregation to in-person gatherings?
At Highlands, the team decided that it would be easier for people to become more accustomed to meeting in-person again if they began attending smaller gatherings before Sunday services. Because of this, Highlands opened up its Saturday Morning Prayer services for in-person attendance first, and then followed it up a few weeks later with in-person weekend services. This allowed the team to find which systems worked on a smaller scale so that they would be ready for a larger range of attendance.
Even though this is how the Highlands team chose to reintroduce in-person gatherings, it doesn't mean that your plan has to look identical to ours. In the end, you know what's best for your church, and we encourage you to think through different services you can provide for in-person experiences and how people will become accustomed to them.
How can we best serve those in higher-risk categories?
Each person is encouraged to make his/her own decisions regarding serving or attending in-person services. Instead of telling someone they can't help, the team at Highlands asks each individual in a higher-risk category to talk with his/her doctor before participating in in-person services. If the individual feels comfortable, we are more than happy to have them with us in person! We're also taking every precaution necessary to ensure that people can worship freely in a safe and sanitized environment by following the essential health regulations set by the government.
If you'd like more information on the specifics of the Highlands reopening plan, including supply lists, cleaning guidelines, COVID-19 signage, and more, check out the following resources on Grow Online:
Please know that these recommendations were crafted in adherence to the health and safety guidelines for the state of Alabama, and these documents are being updated periodically on Grow Online. The content of this blog may not be the most recent information on this subject, so please consult your own state and local officials when making similar plans for your church due to COVID-19.