Church Preparedness for Potential Pandemic

It does not matter how small or how large a church is, plans should be thoughtfully made for potential disasters. Thinking through how your church might be affected – from at risk members to outside ministries and outreaches – will help in implementing plans quickly should the need arise.

Whether a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, earthquake or pandemic, each church has a responsibility to prepare for the unexpected for its area. It does not matter how small or how large a church is, plans should be thoughtfully made for each of these and other potential situations. While we are not overly concerned with the present information regarding the virus, it would be prudent to prepare in the event that local, state or federal agencies enact social distancing or quarantine measures for a particular area. Thinking through how your church might be affected – from at risk members to outside ministries and outreaches – will help in implementing plans quickly should the need arise.

Guidance is being provided to employers on how to prepare for potential disruption during this current coronavirus (Covid-19) situation. In an effort to help churches prudently prepare should the present situation escalate into more outbreaks locally, regionally or nationally, we are including links to the most up to date and factual information we can find.

Remember, the current thinking by the coronavirus task force is that those with compromised immune systems, chronic illnesses, and the elderly are the most at risk. The present focus is to protect those populations. If you have a nursing home ministry, contact the facility and follow their guidance on ministering at the facility. Those who have hospital ministries also need to contact administrative officials to seek guidance on the protocols healthcare facilities may implement.

For your congregants, encourage families to be vigilant with hand washing protocols, provide hand sanitizer and tissues throughout the buildings, and consider changing greeting habits between church members for the duration of the potential risk. Encourage anyone who is sick to stay home, including those who may hold ministry responsibilities. Be vigilant in following cleaning protocols on property, especially in public areas, food and beverage areas, and restrooms. It may become necessary to temporarily suspend services if local authorities advise no social gatherings. Determine if there is a way your church may still be able to conduct an online service via a Facebook live video, YouTube channel or other social media mediums. Make those plans now in order to work out any technical issues and to provide the information to your members.

What You Need To Know About COVID-19 factsheet

What To Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19 factsheet

Symptoms of Covid-19

John Hopkins Coronavirus Tracking Map

How to Conduct a Risk Assessment for Exposure

Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette

Hand washing information including posters, stickers, fact sheets, and videos

Printable Posters for Staying Home When Sick and Slow the Spread of Germs Place these posters in nursery and children’s area, entryways, kitchens, and office areas.

OSHA Overview regarding COVID-19

Protecting Workers During a Pandemic FactSheet (OSHA) Although specifically for employers, much of this factsheet may be applied in a church or school setting.

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

CDC Travel Health Notices

We will continue to add information as it becomes available during this round of concern.

Feel free to share in the comments ways your church plans for emergency situations and continuing ministry.

Author: Hold Fast the Truth Ministries

Dan Woltmann grew up in the home of full time Christian school teachers. Although born in Michigan, Dan spent the majority of his early childhood in the Tallahassee, FL area and attended Aucilla Christian Academy, a satellite school at the time of North Florida Baptist Church and Christian School. His family moved just prior to his junior high years to serve at Bible Baptist Church and Christian Academy in Savannah, GA. Dan's high school years were spent at Temple Heights Baptist Church and Christian Academy (Tampa, FL) where he graduated in June, 1985. Dan was saved at the tender age of 5 years old. Throughout his childhood and teen years he was privileged to meet and to learn from many pillars of fundamentalism and outstanding preachers. It was from these men that he developed a strong conviction on the truth of God's Word. Dan surrendered to preach at the age of 14; he preached his first sermon at the age of 16 to his youth group. During Dan's senior year, Dr. Bill Rice III met with Dan about his future college plans. It was then that Dan decided to attend Pensacola Christian College as an evangelism major. Dan graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Evangelism in May, 1990. Dan's ministry experience is vast and varied. • Began 4 Christian service Bible clubs at Pensacola Christian College (1985-1990) • Intern with Dr. Ron Comfort (Christmas break, 1986) • Camp counselor for the Bill Rice Ranch (Summer 1987) and Life Action Camp (Summer 1990) • Seventh grade teacher, Temple Heights Christian School, Tampa, FL (1990-1991) • Taught Bible classes, Alamance Christian School, Graham, NC (2004-2007) • Assistant to the pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Henderson, NC under Dr. Russell Bell; youth pastor, music director, etc.(1992-1995) • Ordained, April, 1997 under the leadership of Dr. Russel Bell • Developed multiple children/youth programs for churches; trained leaders and teachers for the aforementioned programs; developed our current format and conducted numerous VBS'; counseled in the writing of several church constitiutions and statement of faiths (1995-present) • Founded the ministry (2002) For more information go to www.churchhelps.org

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