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As we settle into the new normal COVID 19 has created for us, it is time to think about what happens when our churches reopen. How can we begin to start preparing for operations after such an unprecedented change in the way we preach, gather, and worship?


The most common strategy I will use when looking at reopening the church is watching and waiting to see how things will turn out over the next few weeks after reopening. There is the potential that I will begin gathering in phases, starting out with 20 – 50 people gathering and growing, from there over weeks or months. This reality will lead me to create contingency plans for the reopening of my Church – Christ Apostolic Church, Ile Anu, Oshodi Zonal Headquarters, Oshodi. Slowly phasing gatherings over a period of time can benefit my community by putting the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional health of my congregations first.

There is no doubt that a new reality of post-COVID 19 is inevitable, and the way we once gathered will inevitably look different. It is important to find ways to help my community prepare for this new way of gathering in the future. Although there is a definitive date to gather again (21/06/2020) in Lagos State, it is imperative for me as Pastor to intentionally and genuinely love and serve my community well in the meantime.


  1. The most obvious takeaway is that use of online platforms during COVID 19 is being maximized and maintained. It may be challenging but necessary for leaders to begin considering how this translates to the way we do Church in the future. How have you been reaching your audience in this trying period? Consider continuing these strategies in the coming weeks.
  2. Even in the midst of uncertainty, leaders can find hope in being able to gather again. As Pastors look forward to reopening our Churches, it will be imperative for us to stay about a month ahead and prepare accordingly. Stay up-to-date on the latest gathering laws to ensure you are prepared with hope-filled messages, service opportunities, and a full staff open again.
  3. Pastors should adjust their future ministry model to accommodate the decisions of the government by slowly phasing gatherings for the well-being of our community.
  4. Consider where your community stands emotionally to guide them in the most appropriate way. If you know a large population of your Church suffered emotionally or financially due to the pandemic, offer messages tailored to their current needs. If your congregation was overall fortunate enough to fare well, consider providing messages of service and love to those in the community.
  5. Over-communicate the precautions that will be taken at your Church. People will hold new health expectations after this crisis. Some ways to communicate that you are taking precautions are to assure parents that children ministry areas consistently being disinfected, mandate that greeters wear gloves, or provide numerous disinfecting stations.
  6. Create contingency plans that minimize large gatherings. A few considerations could be maintaining online services and offering prayer meetings throughout the week in order to phase the community in as smaller groups. In the meantime, use technology to allow small groups to continue meeting, reach out to your members one-on-one, and consider emailing a daily devotional or Bible verse to keep members strong even after full reopening.
  7. Incorporate multiple services throughout the week to decrease the number of people attending at a time. There is joy, hope, and encouragement found as Pastors are able to see the number of people in their community who come together and organically worship together and pray again. Meeting virtually might not have all the positive elements of in-person connection, however, the sense of routine with shorter meeting times has produced positive outcomes across the board.

Conclusively, if all the aforementioned can be looked into, it will bring new innovations to our operations. Try to reinforce that the primary source of growth and development of a Christian happens through Church community.

Pastor Festus F. Daramola, Ph.D is a teacher of the word, Bible Schloar and Lecturer at CAC Theological Seminary, Idimu, Lagos, and the Zonal Superintendent of CAC Ile Anu, Oshodi Zonal Headquarters, Oshodi, Lagos State, Nigeria.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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