15 Most Asked Questions of Re-Entering Lake Country
What if your worship gathering is initially limited to no more than 100 people?
Our sanctuary seats right at 500. We have been running about 150 before the pandemic hit. As of May 1, Governor Abbott has asked churches not to exceed 25% of seating capacity. When we do open the doors for public worship on Sundays, there will still be those who desire to stay home for a bit longer. So, numerically, we will be in a good place.
What adjustments will you make to the Lord’s Supper and baptisms?
For the season we will secure the all-in-one communion elements. The juice and wafer are held in a single container that each person will unwrap. We will secure dates for baptism a little further down the road.
Is a physical “pass the plate” offering a thing of the past?
The last thing we want to do is have everyone pass their germs to the person to their right by passing the offering plate. We not only offer three convenient coinvent ways to give on line (App [Church Center], Text 84321, https://lakecountry.org/give/) but we have physical offering boxes in the back of the sanctuary and giving urns in the front on the platform.
What are you doing now to sanitize and sterilize your church building?
Our cleaning staff are going to additional lengths in cleaning the facility. That includes office spaces as well. Special attention is being given to areas that are handled by heavy traffic, including; wiping door knobs and handles and using disinfectant on chairs and carpets.
Are you going to continue offering children’s church?
For the time being, we are going to have family church and ask everyone to have their families sit together at the recommended 6 feet apart from other families in the sanctuary.
Are you going to continue hosting special events?
At the present time we will not be hosting special events such as weddings, funerals or other church events. We will watch our data closely and make adjustments as we move forward.
Are you continuing to provide coffee stations on campus?
As we initially open the doors for Sunday services, we will not being offering coffee and donuts. And although the Common Grounds will be open, we encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing.
Will you continue offering virtual online worship?
Yes, we will continue with the online worship service. We know that there are many who have been blessed with this opportunity and we want to continue offering this at-home worship experience. We hope to have everything worked out to have the service streamed live for those who feel at risk or many not feel comfortable attending the live service just yet.
Do door greeters do their jobs differently, or at all?
We love to welcome our people as they walk into the church. Our greeters set the pace of the worship experience with love and encouragement. This will simply be done in a different manner. Our greeters will be given masks, and for the season will merely open the doors and give a verbal welcome and love. They will be specifically trained to distancing and proper COVID-19 protocols.
Is this the time to suspend or end your church’s “meet and greet” time?
No. We have too friendly of a church who love to welcome and, say hello to each other; especially to our new people. We will welcome our new people with applause and hold off on the physical contact until a later date.
Should you add and/or shorten worship services to allow for social distancing?
With the number of people who have been attending in the past, we are at a safe place with the length of our service. Our people have been shut in and need a safe place to get out and be together. Shortening that time would only take from what our people are needing; an encounter with God and each other. We will also encourage our people to take their time exiting so that they can continue safe social distancing.
Will you reopen the doors of your church with a “worship only” strategy?
Yes, we will start with the Sunday morning worship gathering where all families will worship together, including children. If babies are crying, parents may make their way to the foyer until the little one is calmed down; we all understand. Our next phase will be opening our children’s ministry once our leaders are fully trained on how to minister in the midst of COVID. Then weekly groups – Hot Topics, Faithful Men, and Youth — will be brought back in. Until then, these groups will continue to meet on line.
Do you have a plan for reducing expenses if your church’s offerings don’t rebound?
Couple of points here:
1. We have spent 15 months doing church in a barn. Our costs were almost non-existent. Since we have moved back into our facility we have continued to keep our expenses low. Yes, we have a multitude of facility costs but we have not added large items to our budget cost as of now.
2. We have the most faithful givers in the world. I can not express to you how much I so appreciate your faithfulness to the Father and His kingdom in your bringing of the tithes and offerings.
3. We are under the umbrella of our Father. We, as a church, believe in the tithe. LCC gives its first 10% to ministries outside the walls of this house. We rebuke the devourer.
Are you going to postpone mid-week Wednesday night services and Bible studies?
All of our mid- week services will be systematically phased back in. We will start with the Sunday worship experience and then we will be opening our children’s ministry once our leaders are fully trained on how to minister in the midst of COVID. Then weekly groups such as Hot Topics, Faithful Men, and Youth, will be brought back in. Until then, these groups will continue to meet on line.
Should you be investing in new digital equipment right now?
Yes, we’ve all hopped online and used Facebook Live to broadcast our worship services. Some of us are doing that with iPads and other devices, but is this the time to admit that online worship is probably here to stay? If yes, then it makes sense to invest dollars now so that cameras and other equipment can be purchased that will help the church be more professional in the new online world of worship.