With Governor Cooper’s 3-phase reopening plan, we can begin to strategize toward our path to whatever the new normal will look like. Here are the NC Phases, along with a framework for what that could (emphasis on could) look like for Spout Springs Church.
For now, we will stay with multiple online services each weekend over multiple platforms, with online Connection Groups only (and my daily lunchtime Bible Studies).
The state is currently not at Phase 1 and probably cannot get there before Mother’s Day. Whenever Phase 1 is reached, we will offer “Churches in a Box”, where we provide everything needed for up to 10 adults to gather and watch our online service while children meet in a bonus room or other large room. These groups will probably include some post-sermon discussion questions and videos for the children.
People who are high risk, or who just choose to, will still be able to attend services from their own living rooms.
We anticipate the increased number of people allowed at gatherings in Phase 2 to be around 50. One option would be for five of our 10-person “Churches in a Box” to combine into a small congregation of 50, still watching online, though a live speaker may be possible (and is probably preferable). We will need to determine where these would be held, with opening up our campus a strong probability for at least some of these. One other option would be to make each service a “ticketed” event so we can maintain the appropriate attendance cap.
Another option during this time would be to offer some family church services, where family groups meet in the tent building, holding the total attendance to fifty. These could involve some combination of children and adult services, with individual families seated at round tables, and a few children’s ministry facilitators moving around to assist with any hands-on portions, like crafts. Services could include a children’s lesson video, upbeat music, and an abbreviated live version of the sermon.
Depending on level of comfort, and even preference, people are free to stay with in-home family worship or “Church in a box” groups of ten. (We are not ruling out that some people may decide to choose one of these as their primary worship experience moving forward.)
While this may allow us to resume Sundays as usual, our expectation is that the size limits and social-distancing expectations will require multiple Sunday services.
As I said at the beginning, these are projections and general concepts. Everything is written lightly in pencil. We’d love to hear your comments and suggestions as we strive to move SSC forward under these unique and challenging circumstances.
Just for your information, the next two images recap the state’s current situation and what is required to move forward.