One side effect of the pandemic has been the fragmentation of community connections. The unknown impact of COVID-19 caused many people to retreat to the safety of their homes and stop being involved in their communities. While COVID-19 is still around, there appears to be a strong public desire to reconnect. Your church building can be a prime tool for supporting community connections while helping people feel comfortable visiting your church. Here are some concepts we’ve encountered that are helping people stay involved and are allowing churches to minister to them.
Using Your Church Building as a Ministry Tool for Hungry People
We’ve heard many stories about faith leaders that opened a church building for food distribution during the pandemic. When people in communities across America lost their jobs, when businesses and restaurants closed down, churches and food banks stepped in to fill hungry bellies. While lately people have been able to go back to work, inflation is now making food harder for families to afford.
Food assistance is an important ministry, and it also provides a low-stress way to introduce visitors to your church building. When people learn that they can turn to the church to get food, upon visiting, they can see what else the church has to offer. They also become more familiar with being in a church building, making it easier for them to imagine returning on Sunday morning.
How Your Church Design Can Support Other Ministry Concepts
A church building can be more than a food distribution site. We are hearing about churches that are opening large indoor spaces, such as a gym or sanctuary, to create socially distanced learning opportunities for kids after school. For children in a community that don’t have internet access at home to do their homework or study online, a church building can become an after-school hub that makes children more comfortable on your church property.
There is also a need for daycare centers in many communities, and your church school classrooms might be just what someone needs to get a daycare started. Adults can also use the classrooms in your church building for job training. The rooms in your church design can also be used for community meetings and as staging areas for distribution of supplies, whether it’s blankets, socks, and underwear for the homeless or testing kits for community members. Churches can also serve as a COVID-19 testing site for your community if needed.
Remembering to Keep Everything Clean
Of course, these opportunities to increase community awareness of your church will come with certain costs. Every time people enter and use your church building for these community events, you will need to clean it afterward. But just seeing a clean church building can help people trust that they will be safe if they visit to worship. Presenting a clean, safe, and active church building will also help people feel involved and less attentive to pandemic issues.
Understanding the multiple ways that your church design can become an effective tool for ministry is one of our goals and part of the reason we created our free i3 webinar series. Register today for our next webinar to learn more creative ideas for meeting your ministry needs.