Go Forth and Unmask

Read how the removal of Ohio’s mask requirement could be a “restart” for church renewal.

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Learn three areas for church renewal that may potentially follow Ohio’s June 2, 2021, “restart”.

It’s official. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine lifted most COVID-19 health orders, effective June 2, 2021. For churches in Ohio, the good news is the mask-wearing requirement has been removed. Social-distancing guidelines and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events have expired. In a way it reminds you of the childhood rhyme accompanied by handplay, i.e. “This is the church, this is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.”

For many mainline churches though, the practical reality before COVID-19 was that opening the doors did not result in seeing all the people. Masked or unmasked, COVID-19 or not, the fact is that two trends have long signaled sustainability challenges for churches. Those trends are continually declining membership and reduced regular giving. As Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders expire and a “restart” commences, this may be an opportunity for some churches to reflect on what “restart” could mean in terms of readdressing their mission. What if your church “restart” was more of a renewal than a removal of the mask requirement? What if your church “restart” pivoted to unmasking community needs?

Three potential areas that your church may be interested in evaluating, as it unmasks and “restarts”:

  • Consider new partnerships. Are other area churches interested in merging? Approach local organizations or schools about joining together in a community outreach project.
  • Consider re-purposing your facility. Many churches that were thriving forty and fifty years ago have been steadily emptying in the last decade or more. There isn’t enough money or able bodies to continue to properly maintain the building(s). Could you lease space or sell any property?
  • Consider mentoring. The professional and vocational expertise of church members may be a helpful bridge for students between high school and further education or the job market. If possible, enlist high school counselors and area employers to try to coordinate interests and needs.

The idea of “Go Forth and Unmask” is to brainstorm the imaginable and align the imaginable with what is doable. If your membership is serious about a transformative restart, you will need to contact professionals in the early planning stages. Thoroughly review your church bylaws/constitution/articles of incorporation and also consult a qualified attorney to understand the legal implications of any change in operations. Your independent insurance agent at Richey-Barrett Insurance can advise you about the effect operational and activity changes will have on your church’s property and casualty insurance, as well as offer some practical guidance on coverage concerns.

Whatever path your church pursues as it goes forth and unmasks, Richey-Barrett Insurance is your Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent for church insurance. Richey-Barrett is experienced in placing insurance for a broad range of churches; urban, suburban, small town, and rural. We will gladly meet with your board or committee to discuss your church’s insurance.

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