COVID-19 Update

UPDATE: 04/22/2020

Unprecedented Times for the Church

Why do we pray for revival, but long for things to remain the same?

Drastic change has occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.  You are to be commended; even in the face of great change you continue to live out your faith and strive to meet the spiritual, physical, and relational needs of the church!  Considering the unprecedented times, change is inevitable.  We long for the day when we can gather back in the safety of what we were doing two months ago.  How will you respond if more change is asked of you?

God has not changed during Covid-19!  He is still on the throne and in control.  God is in you.  God is all around you.  The Church’s mission from God has not changed: love God, love others, and make disciples.  Due to the virus; however, gathering in large groups is being challenged.  As America searches for answers, social distancing has become the new norm.  Yet we long to shake another’s hand or show kindness with a hug.  Instead of defaulting to frustration over losing what we had, have you stopped to considered what the new norm may require of you?

The pandemic this year has marked time.  Events that mark time generally result in modified behavior for the future.  Values and priorities often change in the wake of trials.  What behavioral changes are you willing or able to consider to better serve the needs and desires of the local church?

What if God has a new normal for the church?  Hopefully, family and relationships will become a greater priority for some. 

Instead of social distancing, we should consider becoming socially responsible.  That social responsibility begins when you and your leadership evaluate and discuss plans for the next in-person gathering of the church.  Every church is different, but these are common areas we all need to consider.

What can we do to protect the church from communal spread?

Here are a few talking points for your team to consider in preparation for the new norm:

  • Involve and consider others in decision making.
  • Continue using social media for services and giving even after the pandemic.
  • Social responsibility:
    • Proper distancing.
    • Personal protection for you and others.
    • Visible hand sanitizers at entrances and exits.
    • Encourage space when exiting the building.
  • Facility preparation:
    • Weekly deep cleaning with applicable cleansers.
    • Clear walkways and halls to reduce obstacles and gathering points.
    • Adjust seating layout and/or capacity.
    • Add an additional service.
    • Open additional space thru technology.
      • Add outdoor speakers.
      • Connect arena speakers and promote quiet time horseback.
  • Ministry adjustments:
    • Greeting
      • Engage outdoors when possible.
      • Love with a smile and words.
      • Minimize use of bulletins and hand-outs.
      • Utilize second group of greeters that welcome and direct new guests.
      • Reroute to a safe zone (or turn away) anyone with a disruptive cough or sickness.
    • Hospitality
      • Instill proper food handling and serving practices.
      • Incorrect use of PPE will spread germs.
    • Children’s Ministry
      • Show up early.
      • Reinforce family responsibility.
      • Reduce age spans/size of classes.
      • Remove unused and impossible to clean toys.
      • Do not mix classes.
      • Be cleaning all the time.
      • Get rid of clutter.
      • Support families.  Kids tell everything.
      • Keep all children until parents get them.
      • Postpone children’s classes.
    • Small Groups
      • Multiply!
      • Remember distancing.
      • Use Technology to connect.
      • Reduce group size if limited space.
      • Find another area to meet.
      • Remain willing and flexible.

Thank you for considering these talking points that will help you lead and find the new normal God has for you.  The size of your church may require additional or fewer considerations.  Your team will likely have even greater ideas once you begin to pray and discuss.  As you prepare and lead change, the AFCC Staff is available to listen, pray, and encourage.

In Christ,
Todd Mitchell
AFCC Director

UPDATE: 04/01/2020

COVID-19 Update

Jeff Bishop shares support, encouragement and guidance from the AFCC for you during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.Links referenced in video:

Posted by American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Jeff Bishop shares support, encouragement and guidance from the AFCC for you during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Links referenced in video: