The ability to assess our situation and choose to live wisely is a God-given gift. Not only will the decision to return to in-person services and reopen the church require faith, but it also takes science. Scientific knowledge can tell us about this virus, how it spreads, and who’s at risk.

Science Helps Protect

In Micah 6:8 we are called to “walk humbly with God.” This humility should lead us to being guided by the best available science that helps us protect ourselves, our church, and our community.

God has gifted researchers who are engaging in rigorous science to help fight the virus. You will be in a better position to understand your risks and make a decision if you learn and adhere to what they're saying.

COVID-19 Will Be in the U.S. for the Foreseeable Future

There is a rapidly expanding body of scientific knowledge about COVID-19. Experts agree COVID-19 will be in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, with fluctuating levels of infection in the community.

Until a vaccine is available, the virus and the disease will be a threat to our public health.

In light of this, it’s important to remember that science shows COVID-19 can be transmitted before a person develops symptoms. This explains why the virus spreads so easily and stealthily, greatly complicating efforts to contain its spread.

Not every infected person will infect another person. Factors that impact transmission include:

  • infectiousness of the COVID-19 carrier

  • actions that increase the release of respiratory droplets and aerosols into the surrounding air

  • proximity to an infected person

Remember: If you are uncomfortable with the risks of transmission, you can continue to attend virtual gatherings. Moreover, if you fall into the high risk category, you should plan on continuing to attend virtual gatherings.

If you don’t understand the plans in place, ask for clarification or humbly share with your church why you decided not to attend in person at this time.

Thinking Through Risk Levels

As you consider your risk levels, you should also be thinking about risk levels for others. If you think others might be unknowingly taking risks with their safety, it is important to lovingly, patiently, and humbly share your concerns with them.

You can pray for them.

You can share expert advice with them, like our Guide to Reopening Church Services or another resource to help them make their own decision.

And, you can respect that they may not follow your advice.

Not everyone will analyze their risk using scientific findings when making decisions about COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop.

If you’re deciding how and when to return to in-person church services, download our full manual that walks you through the decision making process step by step.

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