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How to Safely Resume Church Services Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

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North Point Ministries church has nearly 41,000 people in attendance each week. 

But with the recent 2020 pandemic, that makes meeting for church services nearly impossible. For the past couple of months, businesses and churches have had to find different ways to stay open. 

For businesses, it means they’ve had to learn to conduct businesses online or they’ve had to cut employees. 

For churches, they’ve had to conduct services online. 

But now that businesses and churches are reopening again, they are able to meet again. However, it’s still back to normal, especially for churches. They’ve had to find creative ways to stay open. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to safely resume church services, this article can give you insight on how to do that. It can provide innovation on what your church services can do in order to maintain the safety of the congregation. 

Here’s a guide on everything you need to know. 

Outdoor Services

According to the CDC, there are different levels of risk when it comes to gathering. 

There’s very low risk for virtual meetings and there is more risk for outdoor meetings. Next, there is more risk for larger in-person gatherings. Lastly, there is the highest risk with very large in-person gatherings. 

With churches starting to reopen, it can be difficult to return to the traditional way of worshipping in church. 

That’s why outdoor services are the best option. If church services do a resume, outdoor services post a low risk for the congregation. There is less air circulating if the congregation was meeting indoor. 

Churches that do resume outdoor meetings should still social distance. People should sit 6ft apart. They should also consider wearing masks. 

Outdoor services can be a great opportunity to reduce the risk of COVID-19, but there is still some risk, which is why churches should take precautions.  

New Way of Distributing Communion

In addition to outdoor services, churches should modify communion. That means the elders, deacons, or whoever distributes the communion should wear gloves and give each person a piece of bread and wine.

By doing this method, you avoid passing a plate of bread and wine around the congregation that everyone is touching. You also avoid people touching multiple pieces of bread. 

Other options include delaying communion and not having it at all at service. 

Limited Refreshments

While some churches have refreshments after service, it should also be modified to comply with safety due to COVID-19. 

For example, either a service does away completely with refreshments for the time being or they modify refreshments. One way to have refreshments is to only have store-bought goods. 

By avoiding home-baked goods, you can avoid someone who may be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19 bringing home-baked goodies to church and posing a risk to the congregation. 

When you only limited refreshments that are from the store, there is a lower risk of contaminants getting on the refreshments. You should also consider limiting the number of people in line getting refreshments that way the people getting goodies don’t crowd up. 

Figuring out how to modify refreshments also applies to coffee. If a church service has coffee served at service, you should have someone wears a mask and serving the coffee to each person instead of having self-serve. 

While these rules may seem restrictive, they are necessary in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These rules also maintain CDC guidelines and lower the risk of someone getting COVID-19. 


Church cleaning is one of the most essential things a church can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

One of the ways a church can modify their cleaning at the church is to ensure that everything is cleaned after church service. That means disinfecting door handles, counter surfaces, and any office supplies. 

In addition, fountain drinks should be cleaned and, if possible, foundation drinks should be closed off to the public to avoid spreading COVID-19. 

If the church’s nursery is open, there should also be considerable cleaning done. The nursery should be disinfected and wiped down.  The toys should also be cleaned with sanitizing wipes. 

You should also avoid having snacks in the nursery. If a child is asymptomatic and they touch the same snacks other kids have, they could pass COVID-19 to other children. 

Rocking chairs and cribs should also be wiped down with disinfectant wipes. 

Lastly, adults should consider washing their hands every time they touch a child. If the adult is asymptotic, they could spread COVID-19 without knowing it.

6ft Apart

When churches do resume service, it’s vastly important that the congregation remain 6dt apart.

The only exception is if you live with the person you are sitting in church. If you see the person on a regular basis, there is no need to maintain a 6ft distance. 

This kind of social distancing should also be accompanied by masks. 

For instance, 6ft apart should happen when people at church are sitting outside or inside. They should also maintain 6ft apart after service if they decide to talk to each other. 

Maintaining this distance helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 to yourself and to others. 

Social distancing means no hugs and no handshakes. 

It’s important for a church to send out announcements before church begins to ensure that the entire congregation understands these rules. 

Sending an announcement via Facebook or email can help others understand what social distancing measures will be in place. It will also your congregation understand what to do and avoid confusion altogether when church service does begin. 

Don’t Touch Songbooks or Bibles

Another social distancing measure a church can take is to have everyone at church avoid touching songbooks or Bibles. If your church has Bibles, songbooks, paper, or writing utensils in the pews, it’s important that a measure is in place so nobody touches it. 

When you have a measure in place that avoids touching songbooks or Bibles, it can help prevent the spread of germs, especially COVID-19. 

Instead, you can have a projector outside or inside to show the songs and the Bible verses. That way nobody touches any of the items when they are in church. 


Although mentioned briefly, it’s important to place a special emphasis on wearing masks. The congregation should wear a mask if they are attending an outside or inside service. 

In fact, wearing a mask is mandated in some states, showing how serious COVID-19 is spreading. It shows how it can slow the spread of COVID-19. 

But it’s also important to recognize what kinds of masks are effective and what masks are ineffective. 

Wearing a cloth mask is considered effective. They prevent germs from going on someone if you were to sneeze or cough. Likewise, if someone coughs or sneezes near you while they are wearing a mask, it can help you stay safe. 

One of the myths of masks is that it causes carbon dioxide buildup. This isn’t true because a properly fitted mask can allow proper airflow. 

However, you should not wear a mask if you have breathing problems. Children under 2 years of age should also not wear a mask. 

To ensure you are properly wearing a mask, it’s important that it fits snuggly over your mouth and nose so no air can come in. 

Lastly, if you’re service is outside, you still need to wear a mask because it can help lower the risk of COVID-19. 

Online Services

If your church is still skeptical about doing service inside or outside, you can still have service online. This is perhaps the safest way to have church together. 

When you offer services online, it keeps people the safest because they worshipping at home instead of around people even if there is social distancing at church. 

Online services are also a great option because everyone can tune into worship service without feeling the pressure of attending church during a pandemic. 

Limit Social Interaction

People at church will naturally see friends and people who they haven’t seen in a while. But it’s important that conversations at least be kept to a minimum while at church. 

That’s why it’s important for people to leave immediately after church. It’s easy to catch up with someone and forget social distancing rules. 

If You Don’t Feel Well, Stay Home

Another key element to ensuring that everyone at church stays safe during the pandemic is to make sure that if people don’t feel well, they stay home. 

While it may seem like common sense advice, there may be some people who feel the urge to attend church since they haven’t attended since the pandemic started. You want to ensure that everyone who feels unwell stays home. 

Temperature Checked & Hand Sanitizer 

You can also prevent the spread of COVID-19 by doing temperature checks and offering hand sanitizer. 

The temperature check is for anyone who is coming to church. You can do a temperature check before the person is allowed to enter church. 

If the temperature is elevated, you will have to tell them that they can’t attend services this Sunday. 

Hand sanitizer is another great way to make sure that people remove all unsanitary germs. It’s important that people use hand sanitizer before they go into a church and after they leave a church. 

Your church can stock up on hand sanitizer and have them placed throughout the church in case someone forgets to bring their own hand sanitizer. You can also have masks placed throughout the church. 

How to Enforce These Rules with Kindness

As a church, you may be wondering how to enforce these rules. It may be difficult to regulate who comes to church or who wears a mask. 

That’s why it’s important to send announcements before church starts. It’s important that everyone knows the safety measures that could protect others and themselves. 

While some of the guidelines may seem extreme, they are the best way to ensure your church remains safe during the pandemic, especially as you near reopening. It’s important that other people look at these guidelines as safety measures. 

It’s also important to convey to your congregation the value of loving thy neighbor. That means taking these guidelines seriously and protecting your neighbor, especially if you are asymptomatic. 

Overall, these guidelines are designed to help keep everyone safe. They are designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the elderly and those who are more prone to getting sick. It can prevent a huge outbreak at churches with a large congregation.

With COVID-19 still looming and churches reopening, it’s important to communicate this urgent message of safety and put measures in place that can protect the life of your congregation. 

By enforcing these rules, you are protecting the health and wellness of your church. 

Now You Know How Your Church Services Can Adapt

These rules are not designed to hinder your church services. In fact, they are designed to give some insight on how to reopen your church service. These guidelines can help keep your congregation safe, especially people who may be more prone to getting sick. 

These measures should also be clearly communicated to your congregation. You should let them know your church is reopening and what guidelines are in place. It can ensure that everyone stays safe while they worship. 

Now you know everything there is about how your church service can adapt during the pandemic. 

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