Tuesday, April 26th, 2022
It’s been more than two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. In that time, churches and faith-based organizations across the country have faced challenges they’ve never faced before, and they’ve tragically lost congregants and members.
Amidst the challenges, churches and organizations also persisted and found ways to draw strength in difficult circumstances. Here are 5 things the pandemic forced us to think about that were positive:
- Online safe practices. In-person safety practices have been the focus in the past, but the pandemic highlighted another reality: virtual interactions. With Sunday school classes and other church activities going virtual, churches needed to shift focus to online safety for vulnerable populations. Training in these areas will hopefully continue even when most activities return to in person.
- Personal space. For some, a handshake or a hug are typical behaviors that everyone should enjoy. For others, those same actions can be extremely uncomfortable or even frightening. During the pandemic, many churches eliminated handshakes and other personal contact for safety reasons. As churches return to “normal,” people may wisely think twice before expecting physical contact and become more sensitive to honoring personal space.
- Wearing masks. Before the pandemic, we rarely saw someone wearing a protective mask unless they were at a doctor’s office; even then, it was mostly medical staff wearing masks in a surgery room. During the pandemic, most people wore masks on a daily basis as they were out in public, and mask mandates were put in place across the country to prevent the spread of Covid-19. One positive thing we have learned over the past couple of years is that there should not a stigma for wearing a mask if a person is feeling under the weather but still needs to be around others.
- Finding more ways to communicate. Communication is always challenging. During the pandemic, churches had to find creative ways to reach people. Online services, virtual classes and porch dropoffs and drive-bys are just some of the ways that churches got creative in trying to maintain distance while still connecting with congregants.
- Cleaning/sanitizing. Hand sanitizer has been around way before the pandemic, but there has not been such an emphasis on cleaning and disinfecting as during the pandemic when a lack of diligence in this area could become a health hazard. Churches and faith-based organizations had to shore up their cleaning efforts to keep people coming to worship and should continue to do so.
It can be helpful to not only find the light, but also be the light amongst the darkness, and the pandemic has not been an exception. The proactive and positive things you’ve done to help people to stay safe during the pandemic can be continued to make your church or organization even stronger. Bravo for your flexibility and creativity!