Most churches have suspended services during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is a difficult time for every congregation, and church leadership should continue to minister in creative ways. This is also a great time to complete tasks that are more difficult to accomplish while regular services are being held each week.
Here are some things your church can do during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Give Your Facilities a Thorough Cleaning
You have your weekly maintenance plan, but when was the last time you were able to do a deep, thorough cleaning of your church building? Now is a great time to tackle this. Your members will appreciate coming back to a completely clean worship environment.
Here is a brief list of cleaning tasks:
- Dust light fixtures and ceilings
- Wash windows, walls, and doors (inside and outside)
- Clean or replace HVAC filters
- Dust and polish furniture
- Vacuum carpeting (including the carpet under your seating, if possible)
- Mop tile floors and other hard surfaces
- Clean your church chairs or pews
It may be a good idea to hire a local cleaning service. They will be able to do the job efficiently, and you will support a local business that may be struggling during this time.
Make Needed Renovations
Perhaps you’ve been putting off a renovation because there just isn’t enough time to complete it between Sunday services. This is the perfect opportunity to tackle that project, if your current budget allows. Even if you have nothing planned, take another look at your church facilities and see if there is anything that needs to be remodeled.
Revise the Church Budget
Take a closer look at your budget and see how your church is doing financially during this crisis. Consider how you will address any difficulties. Also ask yourself:
- Is your current fiscal year working well for patterns of giving?
- Could you benefit from adjusting your fiscal year or following a regular calendar year?
- Do you have a sufficient emergency fund?
- Do you have enough church staff? Should you consider raising their pay during this difficult time?
- Has giving kept up with church growth for the past few years? What are some ways to encourage giving?
If your church is experiencing decreased giving right now, let your congregation know and ask them to give what they are able. Understandably, many people are struggling financially during this time, but those who are doing well may increase their generosity towards your church.
Brainstorm New Ideas for Worship and Outreach
Take advantage of this downtime to rethink how you conduct your worship services. Are there new ideas you want to try, or things that could be improved? Likewise, how can you grow your outreach efforts once the pandemic has passed? Although it’s difficult to temporarily go without your church community, you can flip your perspective and see it as an opportunity for improvement.
Revise Your Church’s Marketing Strategy
Now is a good time to look at how your church has marketed in the past and plan out future initiatives. What has worked well for engaging your congregation, and what hasn’t? What platforms are you on right now? Is there an opportunity to expand into others? For example, maybe your church is on Facebook and you notice that your Facebook videos always get a lot of views and likes. Maybe it’s time to create a YouTube channel and post videos there as well.
Also consider your messaging, including your church’s mission statement. Now might be a good time to revise this or strengthen existing messaging. Invest in your church’s brand image so that you’ll be in a strong marketing position when the crisis has passed.
Make a Plan for the Future
In a time when things feel so uncertain, faith will lead the way forward. Take this opportunity to consider the big picture. Decide where you want your church to be in one, five, and ten years from now. Then create a plan to make it happen.
This is a difficult time for you and your members. They miss the community and the human interaction your church has always provided. Remember that this is only temporary; you can still plan for the future. Take advantage of the downtime to accomplish some much-needed maintenance items so that your church can come back from this crisis stronger than ever.