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GATHERING AGAIN -- A Guide for Pines Baptist Church

Since March 29, we have relied on electronic and other creative methods to gather while we are scattered due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We have used tools like Zoom, Facebook Live, texts, emails, and even regular phone calls to stay as connected as possible during this time of distress. Together, we have learned more deeply what we already knew—meeting by video is not the same as meeting in person. We’ve all been waiting for the time when we will be allowed to gather again as a church family in our facilities, and now we’ve learned that Sunday, June 4 is the day! We want to be as prepared as possible to welcome our church family and guests back to our facilities.

The plan that follows is a:

  • MEASURED. We will use caution and be aware of and follow the recommendations of national, state, and local leaders and agencies.

  • PRIORITIZED. We will determine our priorities regarding which services and ministries we will provide immediately, and which services and ministries will remain electronic or suspended for longer periods of time.

  • FOCUSED. Our mission is to know God and make Him known. As we reopen facilities, we will focus on the mission our Lord Jesus has given us



As we plan to reopen our facilities, we know that extra care must be given to make people feel comfortable after this time of stay-at-home orders and continued social distancing. Added precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of our guests and members. We will follow the guidelines of federal, state, and local leaders and agencies as we reopen our facilities.


We will:

  1. Regularly wipe down surfaces with disinfectant, especially those surfaces that would likely be touched. These include tables, chairs, counters, door hardware, light switches, electronic equipment and so on.

  2. Clean carpets and deep clean the church, especially restrooms.

  3. Clean/wipe down restrooms as needed and based on facility usage.

  4. Install hand sanitizer stations throughout the church.

  5. Work to make the church as “touchless” as possible by: a. Propping doors open with greeter stationed six feet outside or six feet inside. b. Emphasizing online giving and providing an offering box in the sanctuary at the exit instead of passing the plates.


We will:

  1. Honor the six-foot social distancing guideline and work to keep a safe distance between family groups.

  2. Have children sit with their families.

  3. Not offer Preschool or Kid’s Church in the early stages.

  4. Not initially provide bulletins and other handouts. As things improve, we will reintroduce them in a way that reduces contact.

  5. Continue to live stream to mitigate personal contact.

  6. Encourage handwashing and hand sanitizing and only allow limited numbers of people in restrooms at one time.


We will:

  1. Take advantage of the opportunity to refresh the building and upgrade some of our facilities.

  2. Utilize the skills and expertise of volunteer members.

  3. Use professionals for larger projects or projects that require more skill.



We will celebrate and worship Him. He is worthy of all our worship! When we reopen for corporate worship, we will have to adjust to comply with the guidelines given to us by federal, state, and local leaders and agencies. In the process of seeking to comply with all the guidelines, we will focus on the awesome God we serve.

We will:

  1. Utilize fewer number of praise team members in the early days of reopening.

  2. Asking everyone to leave a parking space between their car and the next one to comply with social distancing guidelines.

  3. Ask families to sit together.


Because of the uncertainty of when Small Groups and other ministries will be allowed to relaunch in person, we must be willing to start slowly and incrementally. As we engage with others in these meaningful relationships, we will have to comply with the guidelines from federal, state, and local leaders and agencies. This will necessitate the continued use of online platforms and the development of new ways to minister to current members and guests.

We will:

  1. Maintain social distancing guidelines for every Small Group and ministry.

  2. Prioritize cleanliness as Small Groups begin to gather by cleaning and sanitizing before, and after all gatherings.

  3. Continue to utilize virtual gatherings.

  4. Continue to address the needs of those who are not technologically engaged and feel isolated and lonely.

  5. Emphasize connecting with people over gathering, so ministry needs can be

  6. discovered and met.

  7. Utilize meeting areas that allow for proper social distancing as we begin to return to normal.



This unique time has certainly created an uncertain financial picture for our nation, families, and churches. Throughout the time we have been unable to meet, the Lord has been faithful, and our church family has been generous. As we will gather once again, we must evaluate our resources, make wise decisions and be good stewards of all that God has provided. Our Finance Committee, as well as our church council (FAMMILY), have met regularly throughout the Stay-At-Home and Safer-At- Home orders, and they have managed our finances well.

We will:

  1. Provide our church family a Treasurer’s Report with the most current financial

  2. information

  3. Continue to offer multiple giving options including online giving, mail in giving, and drop-off giving.

  4. Consider funding of cleaning and contact mitigation efforts that will be an ongoing expense that is most likely beyond current budget planning.

  5. Encourage families who have not been significantly impacted financially to consider being a blessing to those in need in the church.

  6. Assist those families in need through benevolence ministries and resources to help with family budgeting and stewardship principles.

  7. Consider how we can help sister churches in our area who have been significantly impacted by the crisis through resource sharing (curriculum, facility use, video recording, etc.) and even financial assistance, if necessary.

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