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Experiences of Returning to In-Person Worship

With churches slowly returning to in-person services, we have experienced different situations over the few past months. We’ve all had our fair share of trials and changes. And we most certainly we have planned over and over again, considering every circumstance we could encounter when returning to our buildings. 

Facing the consequences of this pandemic has been tough on our side. But one of the best things that we can think of right now is that we are not alone in this and that we have each other for support. With this, our members have shared their experience with regards to returning to in-church worship.

Comments:

“We instituted a 100 person max, which is in line with our state’s recommendations. Reservations/seating assignments, plus safety restrictions for the first several weeks. Also having outdoor services once every 6 weeks.” Brett Miley

“We started with drive-in and then lawn services about 40%… we were surprised by the numbers going up to 50-60% when we moved back inside.” Katie Rose

“We have a pretty small congregation, to begin with, but we have lost two members because we have safety precautions in place and they didn’t feel we should… then lost 2 more because they didn’t feel we had enough precautions. It’s been rough, honestly.” Kristen Reinhardt

“We’ve dramatically shrunk the number of seats available (700 down to 225). Went from 2 services to 3 for capacity and were seeing around 50% of previous attendance live and around 35% of previous attendance watching the livestream. Will be interesting to see what happens when we start kids ministry in a few weeks.” Brian Holt 

“70% stayed online.” Sherry Dunn Brunner

“Been back offering in-person worship for about a month. Added a service to thin numbers per service and keep the room under 25% of seating capacity. About 65% have come back. We weren’t live-streaming before, but figured that out and are keeping that as part of our new normal. A decent number of views for us, but we don’t really know how to quantify those to be honest…” Mark Dahn

“We are still online. Starting September we are implementing a “20 person attendance” to watch the stream with the senior pastor in the sanctuary. Unfortunately we have had several members pass due to COVID and we are taking the precautions seriously.” Daniel Betancourt 

“We were 5 services, normally 1300 ish. As of this week we are back to 5 services and about 50-60%. One of the services is outside on Saturday night (200-250), 80 for traditional, 250ish for contemporary at 9:30 and 70ish for contemporary at 11. We saw a decent bump when we added children’s programs.” Tyler Roberts

“We have never stopped gathering and taped live services, when we reopened in early June we are seeing a growth in our congregation.” Nay JG

“Last summer we were running about 700-800/weekend. We reopened in May and numbers have fluctuated somewhat. We started with a little more than 300, went up to almost 500 but then June dropped back down to 300, July hit a low of 235 and we started creeping back up. We’ve been hovering right around 300 for the past 4 weeks.” Michaela Carson

Conclusion:

Returning to in-church services during this unprecedented time may cause your church to be in difficult situations. The best thing to do is to always keep in mind the safety of your congregation in every decision you make whatever the results may be.

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