As the pandemic continues to become more severe, countries across the world are trying to adapt and keep up with it. While COVID-19 has impacted all areas of society, one institution that it has hit especially hard is churches.
Churches everywhere have had to adapt like never before. Religious leaders everywhere are trying their best to spread the word of God while also promoting church safety. This requires some innovative thinking, to say the least.
So if you’re a church leader, how can you ensure that you and your congregation stay safe?
Keep reading to learn about some different ways that you can go about making church safety a priority in 2021.
If you’re the priest or pastor in charge of your church, understand that you’ll need some help with keeping everyone safe. The circumstances affecting the world at the moment are too much for one single person to deal with.
Assign different people roles that will allow them to better manage the safety and security of your church. If your place of worship has some sort of a vestry, that can serve as an easy way to find suitable people.
For example, decide who will call 9-11 in an emergency, who will help uphold CDC guidelines, and who can take action in case of a medical accident. Consider people’s backgrounds when assigning roles.
Create an Emergency Plan
Aside from having an effective team of leaders, you’ll also want to ensure that you have a solid plan in case of an emergency. This will help everyone respond to an event quickly, as opposed to waiting and causing it to get worse.
For example, if someone in your congregation catches COVID-19, what will you do? How will you respond if you hear that there’s a security threat nearby? If an elderly church member falls, how will you respond?
Creating an emergency plan can help you figure out which areas of safety and security you need to improve.
Look Into Remote Services
While making the trip to church every Sunday is important for many people, understand that you need to put the health of your church members first. Right now, live streaming church services might be a good idea.
With a program like Zoom, you’ll be able to interact with the members of your congregation as if they were right there with you. You can even share your screen, allowing them to read or sing along with you.
It might take some getting used to, but the churchgoers in your community might soon find themselves enjoying church from their living room or home office.
Take Advantage of Other Technologies
Many people think that religion and technology can’t work with one another, but the truth is the opposite. In fact, you can use technology to complement religion.
Something as simple as a smartphone can serve as an easy way to read the Bible at any given time. Encourage your congregation to use their phones to look up verses, listen to hymns, and study up on Biblical history.
Technology can also come in the form of church security tools. Smart security cameras and alarm systems are high-tech devices that can help ensure the safety of your church, whether or not it has people in at any given moment.
Follow Health Guidelines
Whether your church has 50 members or 500, it’s essential that all of you take extra precautions. Medical experts have designated places of worship as one of the areas where COVID-19 can spread the easiest.
Luckily, the CDC has laid out specific guidelines that you can follow to help ensure everyone’s safety.
Practice Social Distancing
If you haven’t switched to a remote model, make sure that everyone in your church practices social distancing. It can be tempting to shake hands and hug other members of the congregation, but it’s not worth doing given the severity of the disease.
Make sure to stay at least six feet apart from one another. If some of your members have trouble doing that, consider sectioning off different sections of the pews. This will force people to stay away from one another, allowing them to worship while staying safe.
You’ll also want to enforce both hand washing, or if that’s not possible, sanitizing.
Your church should have a “no mask, no entry” rule. If a parishioner refuses to don one, respectfully ask them to leave your church. It may sound harsh, but remember that one sick person can endanger your entire congregation.
If any of your church members have doubts about the effectiveness of masks, remind them that there is a plethora of empirical evidence out there that attests to their usefulness.
Remember that the mask needs to cover both your mouth and nose. Try and understand that elderly members, in particular, might be a bit hesitant to wear one. Be patient, but strict.
Make Church Safety a Priority
Church safety should always be on the mind of church leaders, but throw a pandemic into the mix and people now need to take it more seriously than ever. Your congregation needs to feel that they can safely connect with God, and that may require some adjustments from everyone.
Follow the tips laid out in this guide, and you’ll be able to ensure that your church members stay healthy, happy, and safe in these crazy times.
Do you now have a better understanding of some of the church security and safety measures that can help you and your congregation get through 2021? If you do, make sure to browse through some of our other articles for more helpful guides and tips.