The pandemic has caused many church ministries to be curtailed or shut down due to its various restrictions. But protecting ourselves from COVID-19 doesn’t mean touching people’s lives for Christ should stop. Instead, there are many great concepts for ministry that are emerging. Here are some of the innovative ways that churches are using their church buildings to help people now and in the future.

Food Bank Partnerships

There’s no question that many people have been hit hard economically during the pandemic. This has meant a greater need for food, and an increased demand on food banks. The McKnight Group has been working with several food banks that are looking to enlarge their facilities. This can be a great opportunity for churches to step in and say, “You can use part of our church building.” Having a food bank on your premises will bring new people to your church, where they can see what you’re doing and perhaps check out your online worship or come back on Sunday.

Educational Opportunities in Your Church Building

We are also seeing an increased need for educational space in many communities. Some church leaders have opened parts of their church building so children can do their distance learning in a supervised situation away from home.

Some schools or daycare facilities need to find additional space because of social distancing needs and occupancy limits. Sometimes daycare centers have shut down completely because the need shrank early in the pandemic, and now there aren’t enough daycare slots as people are returning to work. These are both situations where churches are lending a hand, by providing space.

In still other cases, churches are offering tutoring for students and job training for people who are unemployed and need to learn new kinds of skills. Of course, opening up your church building for needs like this will require extra cleaning and sanitizing to keep everyone safe.

Meeting Various Community Meeting Needs

We’ve heard about other types of community needs that churches are meeting with use of their facilities. A church building can provide an excellent short-term staging area for supplies and meetings in case of a local emergency, such as a natural disaster (floods, hurricanes, fires, etc.). We know many community centers are also being shut down, so folks have nowhere to meet. Church leaders who open their church building doors to community leaders can help to make their church name better known and create goodwill. People will remember that your church stepped up when times were rough. When things start to normalize, or they are feeling the pain of the pandemic, they’ll remember your church building as a safe and welcoming place to pray and to connect.

Of course, all these opportunities must be approached with an eye to safety. In our next post, we’ll share some ways to improve safety around your church building. Meanwhile, to keep up with the latest trends in church design and building projects, sign up today for our forthcoming free i3 webinars.