By Doug Talley
Gov. Holcomb announced last Friday that places of worship can resume meeting and there are no size restrictions. I think we were all caught off guard by that news. While I celebrate that the governor thinks churches are essential, I am a bit anxious that churches may immediately reopen without being prepared and that some attenders may ignore safety protocols because they feel like the risk is over. The result could be new outbreaks of COVID 19 that put lives at risk. Please keep in mind that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul writes about a Christian’s freedom and rights. He says, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others” (I Cor. 10:24). The premise of chapter 10 is that just because something is permissible doesn’t mean you have to do it or even that you should do it. It is imperative for a church to resume services only when it can reasonably ensure the safety of those who attend. If your church has been working in advance on a reopening strategy and you have the equipment and supplies to follow CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of your people, then you might be ready to have one or more corporate worship services in the near future. But if you don’t meet this criteria, please be patient and wait to reopen. The last thing we need is for additional COVID 19 infections to occur that are traced to churches opening before they are ready. It is highly recommended that when your church resumes services that you encourage persons with underlying health concerns and those over 65 to stay home, offer multiple services so you can limit the number of persons attending any one service and ensure physical distancing, and have extensive procedures in place to offer as much protection as possible.
- Click here for a link to a resource page that includes links to State of Indiana guidelines, as well as resources and check lists that are not Indiana specific.
- Click here for a document developed by Nate Tatman with a plethora of helpful information about the crisis, reopening and future implications.
Covid 19 is still a significant risk in Indiana. As of the writing of this release, we are still very near peak levels of confirmed daily cases and deaths. Indiana Ministries is encouraging churches to be patient in reopening.