The church is going through a transition of sorts. Many of us are preparing to exit the full-lockdown measures of the current Covid crisis. While this is good news, it’s important that we look to the future with an awareness that we won’t be flipping a switch and returning to January 1st, 2020. Things have changed.
The biggest change may be the mindsets of those we love and call church family.
In our area, we have a combination of “essential” personnel and those who are staying at home. Those who are staying home may have the biggest mindset battle ahead of them. If they have been watching or listening to media, I’m sure they are nervous about going into public settings right away.
How do we help them navigate these fears?
I believe that we are to love through these times. As leaders, we should meet them where they are without judgment – just compassion and understanding. Encourage them to connect as they feel comfortable.
As a church, we need to alleviate fears by going the extra mile with regard to health and safety measures. Consider getting several hand sanitizing stations around the church, inside and outside of the building.
No Judgement Zone
In the same way we invite people to come to church as they are comfortable (with regards to their clothing) we need to develop the same attitude with regards to face masks.
Some people will feel the need to wear face masks whenever they are in pubic. They deem it wise and feel that it’s a safety measure that should be adopted by everyone.
Others will feel that the data within their local context does not justify regulations such as face masks.
Our personal conviction on face masks should not be imposed on others with a differing opinion. Those who want to wear face protection can do so without any judgment from those who choose not to wear face masks and vice versa.
May the Church be a place of unity and love for our brothers and sisters in Christ – not a place of division and judgment.