The following is the reopen plan adopted by the West Florida District Presbytery for all District Council Affiliated Churches. This plan may also be used as a template for General Council Affiliated churches and should be considered the District’s minimal recommendations for reopening a G.C.A. church. We fully appreciate the fact that:
- Some churches will choose not to reopen just yet!
- No pastor should feel rushed to reopen!
- If you are not ready, don’t reopen!
- If you don’t have a solid plan, don’t reopen!
- If you have a solid plan, when you reopen follow that plan!
While working with your leaders to develop a plan, here are some questions you should consider:
- What is driving us to resume in person services?
- Do we have a good plan? (See the suggestions below)
- Can our plan be effectively implemented? (Does it just look good on paper or can we actually make it work?)
- Are we ready for the new challenges our plan will bring? (i.e. managing services with children in the sanctuary, increased volunteers needed for sanitizing, enforcing social distancing that goes against what we are used to doing at church, etc.)
- What are the expectations of our church family as they return to in person services?
- What are the federal, state, and LOCAL (County and City) government’s current guidelines for meeting?
The following points should be considered by G.C.A churches and must be implemented by D.C.A. churches when putting a return plan together. In addition to the recommendations and guidelines presented here, every church is expected to follow the guidelines set forth by the C.D.C. and other federal agencies, all guidelines in Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Safe / Smart / Step-by-Step / Plan For Florida’s Recovery,” as well as local (county and city) guidelines for meeting.
CHURCH REOPEN PLAN DETAILS
What is the Maximum Occupancy Allowed in Your Building Under Current 6-foot Social Distancing Guidelines?
The Following Minimum Standards Must be Met:
- Have clear signage to remind and instruct people about all precautions
- Prop doors open
- Observe strict social distancing (6 Ft)
- Have hand sanitizer at all entrances
- Masks are optional
- No handshakes or hugs
- No congregating in aisles, lobbies, bathrooms, porches, etc.
- Provide intense cleaning of high touch points (doors, bathrooms, pews, chairs, etc.) during and after each meeting
- Use every other pew or row of chairs
- Allow family groups of 10 or fewer to sit together
- Sick individuals and individuals at high risk should remain at home
Ministries & Services
- Do not offer coffee times
- Do not offer nursery or children’s programs
- Plan a 1-hour family-friendly service
- Provide children’s activity handouts
- Make pre-packaged communion available at pickup stations only
- Limit contact during prayer time
- Use a methodical entrance and exiting plan
- Collect offerings at exits
- Continue Live-Streaming
- Senior’s entrance / exit option
- Senior’s seating – 25 feet from all others
- Special service for Seniors Only
How Do You Plan To
- Organize and train your Advisory Team and other leaders to help you implement the plan
- Get the details of your plan to all your church family and make sure they understand this plan will be strictly enforced
All District Council Affiliated church pastors must be in agreement with these guidelines and return a signed copy of the attached agreement by email to (email@example.com) or mail to
West Florida District Assemblies of God
4792 Highway 90
Marianna, FL 32446
so that it reaches the District Office before the start date. After the District receives the pastoral agreement, an email or letter will be sent back to the pastor to approve the D.C.A. church’s reopen date.
If local government allows and a D.C.A. church can effectively implement this plan in its entirety and the Sr. Pastor has signed the attached agreement, then they may resume services on Sunday, May 24, 2020, unless there is a change in the current recommendations by federal, state or local authorities.
Youth services, small groups, and auxiliary ministries must adhere to the same guidelines as other services.
Take advantage of this time to do a full safety inspection of your building, including fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit signs, etc.