What to Do if Your Church Has to Shut Back Down

Let's look at some hard questions and equip ourselves to keep pressing on.
4 min read

As another wave of the Coronavirus strikes America, some areas are getting hit harder than others. Whether businesses are shutting back down (due to sick employees) or governments are mandating masks in public places—this new reality of navigating COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going away.

So, it’s time for us to look at some hard questions.

  • What if our church doesn’t get to open as planned?
  • What if we’re open but we have to shut back down?

These are real questions, and although there are no solid answers, we want to encourage you in a few areas.

You can find rest and assurance in Christ. We don’t have to depend on ourselves. We don’t have to have all the answers.

Keep Up the Digital Touch Points

First things first. Keep (or start) ministering to your congregation and community through digital platforms and virtual teaching. This can be done through live streaming, video recordings, emails, blogs, etc.

Discipling doesn’t have to stop simply because physical doors are closed.

Keep your Sunday school classes going through programs like Zoom and continue those Sunday services online. Many publishers are offering programs to help churches during this time.

Check with your publisher to find out what they are doing to help you reach your people—whether in-person, online, or a hybrid of the two! (You can learn all about David C Cook’s program here.)

Along with this, encourage your leaders and volunteers to continue connecting with families by checking in on them. This can look like activity packets, call, emails, and texts. Community doesn’t have to stop simply because gathering in a building has.

Keep Working in Your Community

Close up of woman receiving take away food delivery
Image Credit: 10’000 Hours/ DigitalVision/Getty Images

It’s important to continue the work you are doing in your community as a body of believers—including food drives, clothing donations, cleaning services, and more.

People are struggling during this time, and we can’t forget our duty to those around us. Your outreach matters!

So, we encourage you to stay active in your community—following local regulations—and share the love of Jesus in these hard times.

And be sure to communicate all you are doing to you congregation. People are encouraged by good news—so let’s all continue to share more of that!

Community doesn’t have to stop simply because gathering in a building has.

Be Innovative with How You Gather

We’ve mentioned this before! It’s so important to keep your mind spinning when it comes to how we gather. Most state governments allow 10 people to gather at a time.

You could create small groups in homes that have Bible study together or even host “watch-parties” for the Sunday sermon.

The group can stream service together and worship together each Sunday!

Also don’t forget parking lot church. We talked about this before too (in this post)! You just need an FM transmitter—people can sit in their cars and worship together at church.

Creativity doesn’t have to stop here! But as always—make sure you are following the regulations and guidelines set in place for your community.

Take Time to Reflect

Take the time to evaluate and ask yourself some questions.

What circumstances lead to your church closing its doors? Was it a local suggestion? Did someone get sick? Were there rules that could have been better implemented?

It’s important to evaluate the why so that when you are able to gather again, you can avoid anything that might not have worked so well before. And maybe you were doing everything right!

That’s awesome! It’s still worth evaluating what could be better for when you can gather again.

Keep Your Hope in Christ

Young girl looking through window at sunset
Image Credit: Justin Paget/ DigitalVision/Getty Images

This one is the one that really gets us through the worst of days. Remember that God is with you in this! He’s with all of us.

As we navigate what feels like a never-ending maze, we should look to Him for guidance. Because it is easy to be consumed by what’s happening around us.

What does He want from us in this season? How might we work differently than before? What are we doing to live out our missions? Are our missions aligned with where He wants us to be in this time? How can we see Him in the big and small moments?

There’s a lot there—we know. But we are all facing these questions together, and seeking God is especially important as we navigate hard times.

You can find rest and assurance in Him. We don’t have to depend on ourselves. We don’t have all the answers—but we don’t have to. Instead, we just have to trust the One who holds it all and has all the answers.

He is faithful to the end.

Let’s keep pressing on.

Creating a Plan for Your Ministry Post-COVID-19

This guide can be used as a post-COVID-19 re-entry planning tool for your entire church or for a ministry within your church body.

Creating a Plan for Your Ministry Post-COVID-19

This guide can be used as a post-COVID-19 re-entry planning tool for your entire church or for a ministry within your church body.

Creating a Plan for Your Ministry Post-COVID-19

This guide can be used as a post-COVID-19 re-entry planning tool for your entire church or for a ministry within your church body.
post article end mark
  Updated on July 16, 2020

About the Author

  • Your Ministry Spark Team is made of ministry volunteers, leaders, and experts who work with David C Cook. We’re passionate about helping others know, love, and follow Jesus. And, we have a big heart for those who serve the kingdom—that’s you. Together, we can do this!

© 2020 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
© 2019 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
Ministry Spark email logo

Want to spark a stronger ministry? We'll show you how.

Join others who are taking their ministries to the next level with our regular email insights.

Please click “Submit” if you would like to receive our email updates, which may contain information about our products. Your use of this site is subject to our Terms of Use, and we will process your personal data in accordance with our Privacy Policy, which also contains details as to how you may unsubscribe from receiving our email updates.

Want to spark a stronger ministry? We'll show you how. Subscribe to email insights.

Please click “subscribe” if you would like to receive our email updates, which may contain information about our products. We will process your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy, which also contains details as to how you may unsubscribe from receiving our email updates.

Rebuild: Ruts, Rhythms, and Caring for Your Soul

Space for this webinar is limited. Register now to reserve your seat.

Becoming Wholehearted Leaders: Living and Leading with Integrity

Space for this webinar is limited. Register now to reserve your seat.

Register for Supporting Families in an Anxious World

Space for this webinar is limited. Register now to reserve your seat.

Register for Pastor to Pastor: Strategies for Leading Through COVID-19

Space for this webinar is limited. Register now to reserve your seat.