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The Church Reopening Checklist

  While some churches returned to in-person services relatively quickly during the pandemic, there are many more who still haven’t met in the same building since March 2020. If you haven’t navigated reopening your doors yet (or maybe even if you have), here’s a list of things you’ll need to consider before you make the

Church Nursery in the Wake of a Pandemic

  By Brandi Kirkland Here are the three positions in which you’ve likely found yourself if you’re reading this article: You are planning to re-open your nursery. You have reopened your nursery, and no one is bringing you their children. You have reopened your nursery, and everyone is bringing you their children! Three different states

Why Mobile Giving Is Essential

  By Renn Salo The church hallways get awfully quiet over the summer. It’s not just vacations (and staycations) that drive church attendance down over the summer. It’s the disrupted routine. Church leaders know this as the dreaded “summer slump.” This year, churches are looking at the added complication of the pandemic. Many people aren’t

Chico Church Uses NewTek TriCaster to Offer Live Video and Connect Community During COVID-19 Restrictions

  Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico, California, has many digital offerings, including a mobile app and live video of its worship services available to all – offerings that went from impressive to critical during the COVID-19 global pandemic. “About two years ago, we looked to video to enhance what we’re already doing, and start being

Audio as the Great Enabler to Flexible and Agile Worship Environments

  By Dudley McLaughlin The house of worship environment has long been a bastion of innovation in terms of AV capabilities. For example, while some would be quick to point out the many challenges of a worship environment for pro audio, others see these spaces as a proving ground for new technologies that mitigate challenging

Getting Back to “Life and Prayer” in Healthy Churches

  By Richard D. Cantwell Returning back to normal life in our churches requires an updated comprehensive cleaning/disinfection plan be adopted by churches in response to the Covid-19 virus and other related pathogens that infect children and adults. Each church’s goal should be to create a healthier/cleaner/safer environment for all church operating personnel, as well

Taking Live Streaming to the Next Level

  By Bob Pritchett Over the past year since COVID-19 began affecting our nation, the church has adjusted its routines, become more tech-savvy and learned the ins and outs of virtual gatherings. We saw a time when attending church virtually was a necessity. Many leaders quickly and successfully shifted their approach to offer discipleship, worship

The Four Pillars of Facility Safety

  Many types of gatherings are important for civic and economic well-being, and religious worship has a particularly profound significance to communities and individuals. Restrictions are easing, and many places of worship are beginning to plan for a full reopening. As you work through your expanded reopening plans, your cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be

Reopening the Church Doors: Communicate with Signage

  By Ashley Birkeland It’s been over a year since my family and I attempted to attend our first virtual service. With three very active children under eight years of age, I was cautiously optimistic that I could still have a similar experience while in the comfort of my own home. Pajamas – check! Perfectly

You Are Ready to Welcome Back Your Congregation…But Is Your Plumbing?

  It feels like it has been forever since congregations have been able to gather together for worship and provide their communities support and fellowship. During the pandemic, some churches found workarounds by live-streaming services or providing “drive-in” options. Others restricted capacity, and many churches had to shut down altogether. With hope in sight for

Health-Focused Facility Updates to Keep Your Congregation Well

  COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for churches. Between holding more services, navigating online worship, and keeping up with enhanced cleaning procedures, the workload has increased for everyone. As we prayerfully begin rounding this next corner in the pandemic, there are some health-focused facility updates that you can make to keep your congregation’s wellness a priority.

Events Aren't Dead, Just Different

  Everyone in the event industry was holding their breath last year to see what else 2020 would unleash. Events got smaller and harder as gathering restrictions increased their grip. But in-person events aren’t a thing of the past…yet. While some people may believe that the transitions made in 2020 will be the undoing of how we

List Special Occasions in Your Church Directory to Build Community

  As we’ve learned throughout the long pandemic, special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries are important to celebrate—no matter the method. Even when physical distancing protocols mean extra creativity is required, friends and family enjoy wishing one another well at life’s important milestones. That’s one reason drive-by birthday parades and virtual parties have lifted

Equipment for Drive-In Services

  By Todd Allison        The pandemic has been hard on everyone. But it has been particularly hard on businesses and organizations that require people to gather. Concerts and events, as we know them, have become a thing of the past. Churches have also struggled to meet safely. But amongst all this uncertainty, a new trend

The Aftereffects of the Pandemic on Church Design and Construction

  By David McKnight The past year presented unique challenges to churches along with the rest of the country. While we look forward to the time the restrictions placed on public gatherings are relaxed, and crowds can begin to return to corporate worship in larger settings, what will the lasting effect be on church design

What Makes Youth Mission Trips Important Right Now

  By Mike Rhoades Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that upwards of 2.4 million people from the United States went on a short-term mission trip each year. Say what you will about short-term missions, that number represents a huge number of people who are actively sharing Christ’s love throughout the world and

Simple Ways to Communicate COVID-19 Protocol

  By Brian McFadden Protecting people is important, and right now, many people and places continue to struggle with the changes in COVID-19 policy and protection. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the world, there are public health rules that help limit the spread of the disease. Yet, some of the most cost-effective and

Brooklyn Church Relies on Digital Kiosks to Safely Re-Open

  By April 2020, Brown Memorial Baptist Church had already lost several parishioners to COVID-19 and decided to move all of its activities online. It would be nearly seven months before anyone other than staff members would enter the church, which often hosted 450 to 600 worshippers on a Sunday. That included one of the

How to Design for In-Person and Online Church Experiences

  By Josh Gregoire Welcome to the world of “phygital” church—the blending of the physical and digital to maximize how churches connect with people and help them draw closer to God and others. My colleague, Rob Gordon, and I met on Facebook Live for a conversation about phygital church. Rob and others on our design

Four Factors to Have in Place When Reopening the Children’s Area

  The return of gathering in person is gaining speed, and it’s essential to think through what your strategy will look like when families begin to arrive after COVID-19. As we step into the new normal, some things might have changed, and it’s important to recognize the impact on families and create a positive first

Rethinking VBS

  The new VBS Playbook from Orange VBS spotlights nine churches and how they adapted their Vacation Bible School last year in the midst of a pandemic. The Playbook was created to walk you through all the possibilities they discovered for VBS curriculum. For all nine ideas, you can download the complete VBS Playbook by

Don't Let Your Church Directory Become Outdated During the Pandemic

  It has been over one full year since the beginning of March 2020, when normal, as we knew it, changed. A full year has come and gone since church leaders had to make some of the hardest decisions they’ve ever had to make and scramble to find new ways to worship and embrace this

Creating Healthy and Safe Spaces Through Signage and Graphics

  By David Frederick With vaccine administrations ramping up and religious organizations preparing for how they will be able to safely celebrate their spring holidays with the community, now is the right time to make sure your building is properly addressing social distancing requirements to ensure the health and safety of those who come to

Shepherding the Flock Away from Cyberattacks

  By Matt Olphin We have exited a year that has become synonymous with change, and while its end came with a brief sigh of relief, the events of 2020 will continue to challenge and change how many worship centers operate for the foreseeable future. Faith communities have been creative in their determination to worship

How One Church Is Tackling a Surge in COVID-19 Cases

  Coronavirus cases are on the rise once again. To prevent a rise in cases, it’s important to implement effective and easy solutions to maintain health safety within churches as we continue to move forward in the COVID-19 era. Early this month, Indiana, specifically the Fisher community, had seen spikes of COVID-19 cases. The Fishers

A Design Perspective

  By John W. Pierce As we all know now, COVID has changed the way that ministries operate, period. It has single-handedly changed the way we worship and engage in relationships and how build our community of believers. As you can imagine, the overnight shift in how we gather and communicate to our congregations has

Leading a Children’s Ministry in a Post-Pandemic World

  By Brittany Nelson A global pandemic changed the way we minister to kids and families in 2020, and we’re still working through those changes as we begin 2021. We’ve all been waiting for things to go “back to normal,” but let’s be honest, normal has now been changed forever. So, what does children’s ministry

5 Keys to Improving Your Church Communications

  By Don Wambolt In February 2020, none of us had a clear indication of what was about to happen. We heard grumblings of “coronavirus” and “pandemic.” Some would be wearing masks in a store, and we wondered whether they had the virus themselves or were trying to protect themselves from it. Within a couple

Is Your Church Group Traveling Again Soon?

  By Jacob Eckeberger With summer quickly approaching, you might already be planning through your next youth group trip or choir tour. But with COVID impacting so many areas of church ministry, it’s more important than ever to review your safety polices for travel to ensure they take into consideration this year’s new limitations. For

Safe Security with Touchless Technology

  By James Segil When we look back on 2020, we will remember it as a year characterized by two things: public health, and social & political unrest. The coronavirus pandemic not only forced us to retreat to our homes and close down our places of work and worship, but it also put public spaces

Considerations for Hybrid Worship

  By Eric Doss The pandemic has been a time of loss, of change, and of opportunity. For faith communities, it has shown that you do not have to be in the sanctuary or even the same physical space to worship together. As many can return to the sanctuary in the coming months, we must

Upgrading Video Production Equipment for More Engaging Online Content During Pandemic

  Church of the Highlands, a multi-site megachurch headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, recently engaged Adorama Business Solutions, a premier technology resource for corporate, educational, and government institutions, to procure its AV equipment for video production needs. The added inventory has empowered Church of the Highlands to remotely respond to the needs of its congregants through

Tips for Sanitizing Your Church Bus 

  It has never been more important to diligently clean and sanitize your church buses than it is today. It is easy to remember to clean surfaces, yet we often forget about the larger issue: the cabin air. The tiniest particles of viruses and bacteria remain suspended in the air for a long time and are

The Vital Role of Staging in a New Era of Live Events

  By Cindy Albrecht Due to the heavy impact of COVID-19 on the live events industry, spatial distancing will likely play a major role in how people attend sports competitions, theatrical productions, worship services, business conferences, classes and other in-person presentations in the coming months and years. In fact, it is quite possible that the

COVID and Church Streaming

  If your church isn’t already streaming its services online, it certainly should be! With COVID-19, people need church now more than ever before to find hope, community, and feel connected in these challenging times. Just because your church’s physical building might be closed, or operating at a limited capacity, doesn’t mean that you can’t

Streamline Giving Processes with Church Management Software (ChMS)

  By Aaron Senneff The global pandemic has had an incredible impact across nearly every industry, and the faith sector is no exception. Nearly overnight, churches had to close their doors as a precautionary measure to keep congregants safe, leading to residual impacts on in-person giving at Sunday service that churches often rely on. In

Moveable Walls, COVID, and Religious Facilities

  Other than educational facilities, the religious/worship vertical market has been affected the most by the pandemic. But religious facilities, especially existing, are faced with very unique space division issues. The premise of a worship facility is based on “congregating,” to meet together as a unified body to worship and praise. But how do you

Everything You Need to Know About UVC Sterilization

  By Robert Gonzalez What is UVC light? Ultraviolet light is naturally generated by The Sun, but it can also be created artificially for a variety of purposes. There are three types of UV energy (between 10-400 nm), which are classified according to their wavelength. Short-wavelength UVC (100–280 nm) is the most active type of

Six Reasons to Use a Digital Connection Card

  By Boyd Pelley In 2 Corinthians 11:28, Paul writes, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” In 2020, pastors faced these same daily pressures in new ways. They felt the uncertainty of cancelling services for the first time in their church’s history. They heard the conflicting

Focusing on What Churches Do Best with LiveControl’s Remote Production Crew in the Cloud

  While stay-at-home orders have decreased physical attendance at churches over the past year, live streaming has given churches the opportunity to reach a much wider viewership. John Volinsky, campus pastor at Bayside Church in California, spoke to this opportunity and said that “most people that come to Bayside actually first watched our services online.”

How to Plan for 2021 VBS

  By Melita Thomas In this strange season of unprecedented circumstances, we’ve all found ourselves needing to get creative with different aspects of church ministry. Programming needs and methods have shifted, but the mission of the church has not changed. The gospel has not changed, nor has our desperate need of it. I am convinced

Extending Worship Beyond the Church Walls

  Founded in 1976 and nestled in Denton, Texas, Denton Bible Church is a non-denominational church that averaged 4,000 congregants each Sunday across its three services. As the demand for digital content and streaming grew and the need for quality video for the church increased, Denton Bible Church sought to replace its outdated camera system

Tips for Planning Your 2021 Sermon Schedule

  Some may say that the unprecedented events of 2020 and the rapid shifts to our routines as a result is evidence that planning is futile. However, the many church and ministry leaders around the world who found that they were unprepared to shift to virtual church and socially distanced outreach know that the opposite

Post COVID-19: Re-Entering His Gates

  By Tim Cool Though some of us are not entering into a church building yet, I trust many people have “entered His gates” emotionally, spiritually or even virtually. But what about the “re-entering” of the physical gates? It is no surprise COVID-19 has flipped our worlds completely upside down. In some way, shape, or

The Lowdown on Digital Donations

  By Shawn Yingling Use these best practices to help increase donations while better protecting your church and its members. It’s no surprise that 2020 has been the year of online church services and digital donations. But even before remote services became a necessity, online giving had made significant traction for many worship centers. According

Sports Ministry and the “New Normal”

  By David Waddell It was the weirdest of times, it was the worst of times. My apologies to Charles Dickens, who famously penned the original quote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” as the opening statement in his book, A Tale of Two Cities. The revision I offer

Who Wants to Do an Annual Campaign in 2020?

  By Ken Sloane As I speak with leaders across the church, I’ve heard a lot of frustration and weariness. Leading in the area of stewardship and finance has been a rollercoaster ride. Panic and anxiety in March and April, some hopefulness in June and July (fewer people away during the summer months). As we

How to Adapt Large Multipurpose Spaces for Medium-Sized Gatherings

  By Derek DeGroot As COVID-19 restrictions ease in various states across the country and congregations start to regather in their church facilities, many churches are facing a new realization: their building isn’t designed with spaces to accommodate groups of 10 to 50, the range for church gathering sizes in the initial reopening phase for

Take Your Church’s Livestreaming to the Next Level This Holiday Season

  By Bob Pritchett As churches transition into the holiday season, having not merely functional but seamless and inviting livestreaming of sermons and worship services is essential. Many church members who may be traveling, working or who prefer to participate from home due to health and safety concerns deserve to be accommodated so that they

How Your Bus Can Benefit Homebound Church Members

  By Kayla Graham Social isolation and depression are just some of the feelings homebound or shut-in church members are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With church services cancelled or moved to remote, it is easy for senior members to feel unstimulated or emotionally down. With proper CDC safety precautions and state guidelines followed,

Converting a Multipurpose Room into a COVID-Friendly Space

  By Mark Rustad As America works to rebound off the Coronavirus and open our lives back up, questions remain as to the safety and health of all commercial spaces. American ingenuity has begun to kick in, as these spaces become redefined and re-purposed for use. Case in point would be a larger gymnasium space

What Churches Should Consider When Reopening

  By Frank Barry There are many obvious statements when it comes to this pandemic. Statements like: These are unprecedented times. Things are really weird now. What day is it again? Here’s another obvious statement specifically for church leaders: Deciding whether or not to reopen for in-person worship is a difficult choice. On one hand,

5 Ways to Encourage Your Church to Give Generously This Fall

  By Bob Pritchett Fall and early winter are historically the most popular giving times for churches and ministries. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and #GivingTuesday, there are ample opportunities to remind church members to give generously. Those serving on the spiritual frontlines of ministry are well aware of how taxing 2020 has been for

Now Is the Time to Overhaul Your Floor Cleaning Protocol

  The current pandemic has facilities managers everywhere rethinking business as usual. One dirty little secret that’s been exposed? Before COVID-19, many of us weren’t giving our floors nearly enough attention. As Derryl Yeager, founder and artistic director of Odyssey Dance Theatre in Draper, Utah, says, “A lot of times, the floor wouldn’t be deep-cleaned

Keeping Kids Safe on Indoor Playground Equipment

  By Chuck Wellenberger For months now, those of us that cherish the involvement and fellowship of our local bodies of believers have had to do so virtually or with forced, sparsely populated worship services.  For parents traditionally attending services with young children, it is important to know that while we hear God’s message, our

Mitigating Infection Transmission in HVAC Systems           

                                                                                                       By Robert F. Goodfellow

Live Stream to Strengthen Your Connection to Your Community

  By Julie Briestensky It’s no secret that the emergence of COVID-19 this year has dramatically impacted the way people worship. Due to health and safety recommendations, including social distancing and self-mandated quarantines, many folks — especially the elderly and the sick — haven’t been able to attend church services as usual. As a result,

Technologies Available for Broadcasting Drive-In Religious Services

  By Monica Guelman With the onset of the Coronavirus outbreak in early March that forced many churches to cancel in-person Sunday services, church meeting,  and youth camps, and moved many of these gatherings virtually, houses of worship have been struggling to balance safety with the needs of the congregation they serve. Although churches and

How to Hold Successful Simultaneous Church Services In-Person and Online

  By Bob Pritchett Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, churches across the country have struggled to feel like they’re “getting it right.” Remain online for too long, and some congregants are critical of the leadership’s respect for biblical fellowship. But resume in-person church gathering too soon, and just as many if not more attendees are disgruntled

6 Must-Know Tech Trends for Reopening Church

  By Valerie Russell Every church is unique in how and when they’ll reopen. States are moving at a pace set by their governors, and it differs from state to state. Even within states, you’ll find cities and counties have their own set of reopening guidelines. And, your congregation probably disagrees about whether it’s too soon

Key Components of a Church Reservation Software System

  As a provider of reservation software services, we have seen the pandemic’s varied effects across a spectrum of geographic locations and industries. Even from the beginning weeks in March, clear communication as well as hygiene and safety protocols have been key components in any business or organization re-opening plan. For many churches, the many

Defining the New Normal of Play

  As churches begin to open back up, we can help kids resume a healthier level of physical activity and enjoy playing in public facilities once again. With the right equipment and safety measures in place, you can create a play area that helps kids enjoy a sense of normalcy again, provides a place for

Adapting Customer Experience in the New Transportation Era

  By Ron Haley Consumer attitudes about personal mobility and commercial purchases are being shaped significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic and felt across the transportation sector. The pandemic, the lockdown and social distancing mandates have disrupted the consumer habits of buying as well as shopping. The speed with which these impacts have been felt is

How to Enhance Social Distancing in Your Church

  By Katie Albrecht Since the world is at a challenging time with sickness, job loss, and grief running rampant, churches are needed more than ever. Many people look to their local church as a form of solace and community, and without it, they can suffer greatly. Although video streams of Sunday Mass and prayer

How Churches Can Reopen Safely

  By Marc Ferguson As this is being written, we are witnessing an alarming increase in COVID cases around the United States. Some states are on the verge of shutting down once again, while others are looking to see if they can take incremental steps to help bring the case numbers down. As a faithful

3 Ways to Build Community with Your Church’s Live Stream

  What if people who came to your live stream service felt like they were a part of it? Felt connected? From that live stream connection, you could build an online church community that engages all week long. The foundation for that is making your live stream service feel more like an in-person service. Here’s

As the Doors Reopen: Finance and Risk Management

  By Andy Whaley For the first time in our lives, churches across the country have had to forego in-person services for several months. Many learned to pivot and reinvent themselves with livestream services and other creative methods to provide a weekly church experience. Fortunately, most churches stepped up and found new, innovative ways to

5 Questions to Ask Before Live-Streaming Worship Services

  By Shawn Yingling Many religious organizations are turning to alternative means for their congregations to “communally” practice their faith. From drive-in movie theaters to podcasts, faith leaders are finding creative solutions. Live-streaming services is one of the easiest ways to keep the faith going. With today’s technology and video streaming sites, it doesn’t require

Pandemic Consequences Challenge Everyone to Be Prepared for a New Normal

  By Mike Anderson Healthcare professionals around the world are identifying a range of COVID-19 related mental health issues that are creating new challenges for society. People are in serious distress about the pandemic itself and because of the devastating second- and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and

Crisis Spurs Traders Point Christian Church to Be Catalyst in Community

  Crisis has a way of causing us to reflect deeply on the things in life that we hold dear to our hearts. In many instances, crisis reveals that some of the things we’ve been holding on to perhaps weren’t really that important, and the aspects of life we relegated to the corner were actually

The Financial Benefits of Going Green

  By Aaron Schafer In an effort to be good financial stewards during the COVID-19 crisis, many churches have turned to an unlikely ally: energy efficiency. Across the country, churches are grappling with a new reality as a result of COVID-19. While many churches have begun to transition back to in-person gatherings, there are still

Church Software: Rethinking the Norm

  By Craig Chadwell In the new world of social distancing since COVID-19, we’re being forced to rethink the norm. Modern technologies and scientific knowledge are blending with the comfort of tried-and-true methods of thinking and of communication. “We’ve always done it this way” are words we often hear in the church, whether it’s in

Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Church Bus

  By Robert Kravitz In the professional cleaning industry, what we are learning about COVID is that preventing the spread of this disease is only as effective as the weakest link. This means that church leaders need to realize that to protect their congregants’ health, not only must the church be cleaned and sanitized, but

Assessing Child Safety – Now Is the Time

  By Angela Lewton With the recent changes due to COVID-19 and churches reopening and planning the process to reopen, now is the time to do a child safety assessment and examine these questions: “Is my church as safe as it can be? What does child safety look like in this new normal?” As families

Is Your Stream Worth Watching?

  By Mark Tarbet The gospel message is powerful…if it can be heard. Streaming is simply the delivery mechanism of the gospel, just as missionaries are. Churches go to great lengths to equip, plan and evaluate their missions’ efforts. So, wouldn’t it make sense to equip our stream to be successful and evaluate how well

Moving to an Online Directory

  By Donna Hammond Now more than ever, having accurate and handy contact information for your church members is imperative. We’ve seen how online and electronic communication options have made it possible to keep in touch with one another when we may not be meeting in person. From schedule changes to prayer requests, getting the

Church Facility Reopening: 4 Phases You Need to Navigate

  By Tim Cool As with the many phases of state and federal reopening, our team has been developing the phases for reopening. We have developed 4 phases that we think every church should consider. Before we dive into the 4 phases, let me reiterate that there is no crystal ball or magic wand. No

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Worship Seating

  The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 (Corona) virus has created multiple challenges for houses of worship. The CDC has suggested that coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19

How Online Giving Can Stabilize Your Church Budget

  By Bob Pritchett As the economic fallout caused by COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, churches, along with all businesses, are being noticeably affected. Aside from the fact that some church members are furloughed from work and have less financial facilities with which to give, many individuals who prefer to give in-person or

Social Distancing: More Than Just a Personal Impact

  As the U.S. continues through varying degrees of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many things about personal and professional communication have changed. Video conference apps and remote work are seeing unprecedented levels of use, as businesses scramble to stay connected. Churches and parochial schools are no exception; many have also turned to video conference

Church Cleaning in a Post-COVID World

  By Terry Schawe To better understand the impact a pandemic can have on church facilities, it might be a good idea to see what happened during the last pandemic back in 1918. On March 4, 1918, a cook at an army training center in Kansas was coughing and complained of headaches. Initially, he thought

When Things Get Tough, the Tough Start Marketing

  By Robert Kravitz There is going to be a lot of unfortunate fallout as a result of COVID-19.  For some brick-and-mortar retailers, this may be the last straw. Without safety nets from banks and the government, some will not survive. The same is true in other industries. For instance, some of the largest janitorial

3 Ways COVID-19 Is Challenging Churches

  By Renn Salo Along with other organizations across the country, churches have been flipped upside down in recent weeks. Aside from the most evident need to make church virtual and keep members connected, church leaders find themselves facing unprecedented hurdles to which they are learning to respond. These challenges are affecting various churches in
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