Since the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries have closed down and set up a stay-at-home request to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Millions of coronavirus cases and thousands of deaths have occurred across the globe.
Presently, countries are reopening, and now is the perfect time to implement guidelines that will ensure people can worship God in a safe environment.
These precautions are intended to prevent coronavirus outbreaks in churches and protect the well-being and health of congregations and places of worship. Every church has a friendly open door policy. In the 21st century, churches have had to put precautions in place to protect congregates.
The following suggestions are intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus within churches and to help ministers deal with the problems posed by COVID-19.
1. Local Regulations: In order to protect the health and safety of congregations, ministers are advised to follow the guidelines of the health and medical authorities.
2. Hand Hygiene: At the beginning and end of church service, all leaders, members and visitors are encouraged to use hand sanitizer or hand-wash using clean water and soap.
3. Physical Distance: Ushers and greeters can sit relatives together who attend church together. Visitors and members must be placed at a safe distance to safeguard them from contracting COVID-19.
4. Church Interaction: It is recommended that congregates reduce touching and maintain a healthy distance when they enter and exit. Immediately after the end of services, attendees are encouraged to limit contact, i.e., embracing, shaking of hands and greeting one another.
5. Disinfecting: Church management is advised to disinfect surfaces and rooms before and after they have been used.
6. Offering: It is recommended that deacons or those in charge of finances wear gloves when handling cash and that congregates place the offerings and the tithes in the collection plate without touching the plate or basket. Church management to also encourage use of digital money platform e.g bank accounts and MPESA.
7. Stay-at-Home: It is suggested that older adults and those with severe underlying medical conditions, such as chest pains, coughs or a fever, not attend church but continue to watch the service online.
8. Community Groups: As a Health, Safety and Wellness Ambassador and Chief Usher I advocate for provision of monthly support and care groups to help individuals cope with mental illness, divorce, trauma, addiction, death, dying and domestic violence. Support and care groups offer support, encouragement and hope in Christ that can help people cope with the social and economic impact of the coronavirus. The recommendations given will help ministers adapt and cope with the ‘new normal’ brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Let us make our places of worship corona free, safe and secure with a conducive environment to worship. For a detailed article on Ushering techniques please visit https://www.ambstevembugua.co.ke/the-art-of-effective-church-ushering/