With governments at different levels thinking through how best to reopen parts of Quebec and Ontario, churches and youth ministries are discussing what the next phase will be. To help guide you, CBOQ launched its latest resource: Preparing Your Church for the Next Phase.
Youth leaders have many factors to consider. Youth ministries are usually a smaller segment of the local church family, which provides them with different opportunities and considerations compared to the operations of other ministries and the church at large. Here are some questions to consider:
- What activities/programs/methods have we been doing since the pandemic started that we want to ensure we continue? With those items, do they replace/supplement what worked before?
- From a longer-term view, if you are integrating different online and in-person elements, how do they work together (or do they)? For example, will you have both an online/streamed presence and an in-person youth group meeting or will you have 2 separate meetings?
- With these ideas, which ones are sustainable with everything else in the youth ministry?
- How comfortable are your youth and youth leaders with in-person gathering post COVID-19? (If you’re not sure, have those conversations now and keep them going.)
- If the situation worsens (physical distancing tightens up again), what is your contingency plan for the various parts of the youth ministry? How will that be communicated?
- What new procedures (e.g. sanitization) need to be followed? (This could include guidelines from the government, local public health or church leadership.) How will you ensure these elements are implemented? What supplemental training do you need to provide?
- What will you communicate to your “stakeholders” (i.e. youth, parents, church leadership) and what timeline will you use?
- How do these plans align with the church’s overall next-phase plans? Is it consistent with the overall reopening plans?
Each church’s context will be different, so your next-phase plans may be unique to you. If you need help thinking through this, contact Alvin.