We are very excited to be re-gathering together on Sunday mornings for public worship. As you might imagine, there are several limitations, stipulations, and new processes that will accompany us into this new season. We have been consulting and plan-sharing with numerous leaders across the country through our network of relationships, including Mission Columbia, Christ Together, and other neighboring churches.
Churches have been given neither clear guidelines nor clear restrictions for our public gatherings. However, we seek to be wise stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Therefore, we have chosen the following best practices and protocols from professional and social settings in an effort to partner with the community as we seek to maintain the health and safety of all who choose to gather at Crossroads Church.
You will find capacity numbers below borrowed from the restaurant industry, sanitization guidelines from the medical industry, and gathering practices from the entertainment industry.
Our hope is that we can resume our preferred manner of gathering as soon as possible, but until we can do so with confidence, we will likely continue to borrow safety procedures and best practices for our collective safety.
Below are the highlights (and an appropriate amount of detail for each). If after reading this you have questions that were not answered, please feel free to reach out to us. We always enjoy answering your questions!
What We Have Done To Prepare For Your Arrival
- We sanitized the entire property! OK, that might be a stretch, but seriously – we cleaned everything that you might come in contact with while you’re on campus with us.
- We have placed signage around the building to help guide you – including recommended distancing aids. You’ll find signs on the doors directing you to the preferred entrance doors. You’ll find tape on the floor forming a queue line into the appropriate auditorium entrance doors.
- We have installed hand sanitizing stations throughout the new lobby.
- We have created digital resources for engaging our church family:
- We have shortened our service times to 45 minutes to allow for appropriate space and time for cleaning between the first service and the second.
- We have removed all furniture from the new lobby to allow space for foot traffic and no opportunity for lounging.
- We have removed a significant number of rows from our auditorium seating. This provides more than six (6) feet of distance between you and the people sitting in front of and behind you as we gather.
Our Plan and Structure for Sundays
- You need to reserve your seat. We have a new virtual seating chart system that will assist you with this step. The seating chart automatically adds three (3) seats of “social distance” beside your party on either side. Please be aware of this system function when reserving your seats. Prefer seating that helps us maximize the number of available seats in the auditorium. The best rule of thumb is to begin by selecting seats on the ends of rows, so that we’re not losing seats in the middle of the row. (We trust you with this, but we may need to move your seat assignment slightly the morning of. Thanks for understanding!)
- This will help us avoid turning people away unnecessarily because we have reached capacity unexpectedly.
- This will also help us with contact tracing in the event that someone gets sick while attending our gatherings.
- The new weekly seating chart and reservation ability will be updated weekly on Sunday afternoon for the following Sunday’s services. (This allows us the flexibility to adapt our social distancing norms based on the latest information from health officials.)
- We are initially limiting our capacity in each service to a maximum of 118. This is the total number of “Safe Seats” we currently have in the auditorium. (Keep in mind this is an estimate, based on maximum efficiency in the seating process, which we assume is not likely. If you want a seat in one of our services, please register early. Please keep in mind, we cannot guarantee you a seat in this season.)
- Unclaimed seats will be released 5 minutes before the start time of each service, to allow guests and latecomers access to seats should any be available.
- We will not offer childcare or Family/Student Ministries during Phase 1. Please plan accordingly.
- Please be aware that the Lobby will be closed during services, and is not available for lounging, hanging out, or socializing.
- The good news: our Online Service will still be awesome! So feel free to continue joining us in those digital communities, just as you have been for the last few months. (And we would love for you jump in and engage with us in the chat windows! There are real humans on the other end of those who love meeting with you digitally each weekend!)
- We need you to follow the rules – and we know some of you struggle with this 🙂
- Maintain recommended social distance while in the building.
- Practice contactless greeting (your pastors and staff will not be hugging, shaking hands, etc. either – keep in mind some of us struggle to keep the rules, too, so we will extend grace to one another.)
- Please note that by registering for a seat (and by choosing to attend a service) you are agreeing to honor these guidelines.
- Our Guest Services Team members will be wearing face coverings and gloves for the safety of all.
- Doors will be opened for you, so that you don’t have to touch any common surfaces as you come and go.
- Restrooms will be limited to emergency needs only. We are not serving food or beverage to minimize the need for the restroom. However, we will be cleaning the restrooms before and after every service.
- There will be a few “live” elements in the auditorium for those who want to re-gather. At the same time, we will also be using some of our pre-recorded elements in the service as well. You are coming to a hybrid of these two approaches, and we look forward to experiencing this unique worship opportunity together.
Should I Attend During Phase 1?
- Those over the age of 65? While we will not restrict you from attending, the CDC still recommends that those in this age group remain at home. (We’d love to have you if you’re comfortable coming out.)
- Those with children? We welcome families to attend, but if your children will have a difficult time making it through a service and/or are not able to abide by social distancing requirements, you may want to continue watching from home. (Keep in mind that the lobby will not be accessible for stretch breaks during the service.)
- Those with compromised immune systems or chronic health struggles are strongly encouraged to stay home, per CDC guidelines.
- Have you been sick or have been exposed to sick individuals within the last 14 days? Please stay home.
- If you are uncomfortable with the details you’ve read thus far, we would love for you to continue joining us online until the current restrictions can allow for a more conducive experience.
What We Need From You During Phase 1?
- Note that the use of facial coverings is optional. Those who choose to wear them are most likely doing so as a measure to protect those around them, and in so doing are being generous to you; please respect their thoughtfulness. At the same time we acknowledge that these “masks” cause difficulties for some. So please use discretion and show grace to others on this sensitive topic.
- As said above, reserve your seat. If you show up on Sunday without a reservation, we will certainly do our best to find you a seat, but we may not be able to seat you.
- Please arrive early. It would help us with crowd control and guest accommodation if you were in your seat five (5) minutes before the published service start time. (Unclaimed seats will be released at that point to enable guests and others access to available seats.)