Every family needs to have a conversation about going back to church. Not whether you will go back, but when and how you will go back.
Let’s be clear, every person, every family should be vitally involved in a local church. The local church is the expression of the body of Christ and is the hub of fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism, worship, and mission. You need to be involved in a local church. Don’t just be an attender – be involved. Participate in a small group, give at least a tithe to the offering, contribute to ministry, pray for one another, encourage your staff, love one another, and invite people to join your church.
But just as not every church is going to start in person worship at the same time, not everyone is going to be ready to come back to in person worship at the same time. Not even everyone in your family. That’s why your family needs to have a conversation about going back to church.
Don’t assume that everyone in your family feels the same way you do about getting back into public. Even if you’ve talked about the virus, the government, the shutdown, restaurants, and other things, give some space within your family for other opinions. There are so many different factors that weigh differently on each person. Personal susceptibility, pre-existing conditions, concern for relatives, making space for others, personality traits, and openness to risk all color our own willingness and readiness to come back to in person worship.
Take some time to talk together about coming back to worship. Listen to one another, without judgment or argument. Hear how others in your family feel. Value their feelings as much as your own. Share your thoughts honestly and openly. Then make a plan as a family.
You might ask some questions like these: How do you feel about going back to church? Would you rather wait a few weeks to see how things go as our state opens up more? What do you think about putting our kids in the nursery/childcare? If you want to wait a while, is there something you need to see before you will feel comfortable going back to church? How would you feel if I went back even though you don’t want to right now?
At the end of this conversation you need to have a plan for when and how you will return to in person worship. So work with that end in mind, you will be back in church one day.
Just as every church will make a decision about when and how to return to in person worship and small groups, so will every family. Prayerfully and cooperatively make that decision as a family.
May God bless you as you seek His wisdom and leadership.