By Dr. J.D. “Sonny” Tucker
As Arkansas Baptists, we are preparing to enter the next phase of this unprecedented COVID-19 journey. On May 4, Governor Hutchinson is scheduled to make an announcement regarding large public gatherings, including worship services. After we hear more details from his announcement, we will be ready to offer suggestions and practical insights on how to best accommodate restarting and re-engaging with our church gatherings.
The key thought of the next phase is that re-engagement will be an ongoing process and not a one-time event.
The federal government has suggested three phases of re-engagement with our society:
Phase 1: Gathering with strict physical distancing
Phase 2: Gathering with moderate physical distancing
Phase 3: Gathering with limited physical distancing
This document has been compiled by the ABSC Church Health Team for considerations for our churches as we re-engage. We plan to provide additional resources once we hear the governor’s statewide guidelines.
I have tremendous appreciation for how our pastors, staff and churches have responded with creative and strategic approaches to ministry during this crisis. We must be willing to use the same creative and strategic approaches to navigate these phases of re-engagement.
I am confident that God is going to work in powerful ways in the days ahead. It is a great joy for me to work for and with Arkansas Baptists—the greatest folks in the world!