Gathering for Worship in the Midst of COVID: a Pastoral Note

As we gather for worship in the midst of this pandemic, it is vital that we allow God’s Word to guide us – over and above our own thoughts, feelings and preferences. 

With this aim, Paul’s words to the Philippian church are timely:


Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 2:3-5)


While the “need to know” details for Sunday worship at LifePointe are outlined below, we must receive the admonition of Philippians 2:3-5 above if our efforts to worship the Almighty Creator God are actually going to glorify Him when we gather.

Remember this as we are required to do things we would rather not do (wear a mask!), and experience a gathering that will be different enough to still leave us longing for what we experienced before COVID. Paul wrote, regarding his rights and entitlements as an Apostle in 1 Corinthians 9:12, “… nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.” In this spirit, and in love for our neighbors and community who have yet to receive the gospel, we are embracing this opportunity to exercise our spiritual freedom to remove an obstacle to the gospel, by wearing masks when we gather. The reason and motivation is first and foremost a spiritual one, driven by the Great Commission and our commitment to the gospel. One of the greatest privilege of following Jesus is to die to self for the sake of the gospel.

Let us – in all humility – love each other well, and live by the Word of God, as His church re-enters the building each week. We can have this mind and heart among us, because it is ours in Christ Jesus! Friends, we are blessed, even as we gather in these circumstances. 

6 Scriptural Principles for Gathering During COVID

Sunday Morning Worship at LifePointe Church

In-Person Sunday Worship

Avoid entering if you have any COVID symptom
Face coverings must be worn to attend inside
6ft Physical Distancing
Wash/Sanitize your hands

9:30am In-Person Worship

If you are healthy and willing to follow the guidelines listed below, please join us! If you are not healthy, or are unwilling to follow the guidelines below, then it is not yet time for you to participate with in-person services, and we highly encourage you to join the live stream. Here’s what you need to know:

  • LIMITED SEATING: capacity in the Worship Center is limited, so be sure to arrive early if you would like to have a seat in the worship center.
  • OVERFLOW SEATING: when capacity is reached in the Worship Center, overflow seating is available in the Fireside Room and in the Foyer, where our teams have setup opportunities to gather for worship with enhanced audio and video.
  • COME EARLY: plan to arrive 10 minutes prior to service start time to make sure there is plenty of time for the required symptom screening on your way into the building. If it is important to you that you sit in the worship center, we suggest that you arrive earlier.
  • FACE MASKS REQUIRED: everyone age 10 and older are required to wear face masks at all times inside the building, including when you arrive to your seat, during the worship service, and during any community life class.
  • No RSVP currently required
  • 2 Entry/Screening Points: the center doors in the front parking lot and the double-glass doors in the back parking lot will be the only entry/exit points, and will be where symptom screening is facilitated.
  • Symptom Screening: everyone will be asked if they have COVID symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) before they enter the building; anyone with COVID symptoms will not be admitted, and should join us online via livestream instead.
  • Hand Sanitizer Stations available upon entry, at restrooms, and throughout the building.
  • Please observe physical distancing as you Fellowship before and after services

Other helpful details:

  • Children’s Ministry (Early Childhood – Birth-PreK and KidzPlace – K-5th Grade) is available for both 9:30am Worship Service and 11am Community Life Hours; Children of all ages are still welcome to stay in the service; everyone will extend lots of grace to parents and children who are new to this arrangement!
  • Youth Ministry is available at 11am
  • Community Life options are available at 11am
  • Attendance in the Worship Center and overflow areas is limited, and subject to current restrictions
  • 6-foot Physical Distancing is required; not all pews will be available for seating, and 6 feet will be maintained between households.
  • A Livestream of both worship gatherings will be made available online on several platforms for those who are unable to attend in person. People who are unhealthy or high risk are encouraged to avoid both “house church” gatherings with other households, as well as in-person gatherings for your safety.

Livestream   Sunday   Worship

Livestream Worship

Livestream Worship Option

service available at 9:30am

If you are either unhealthy or unable to follow the guidelines for attending in-person services, please plan to join us via Livestream! We are so grateful for the technology to continue gathering together for worship, even during circumstances that preclude us from being together in-person. We value the gathering of believers for worship through the best means available, and greatly anticipate the day when we can all gather again in the same room.

Here are some details for joining the livestream gathering:

  • PREPARE FOR WORSHIP: if it is a communion Sunday (typically the first Sunday of the month), gather the communion elements beforehand. Prepare the technology needed, and plan for the best way for children to participate.
  • COME EARLY: we aim to start the stream at least 15 minutes prior to the service; make sure that your audio and video equipment are all working and ready to go!
  • ONLINE COMMUNICATION CARD: we have a digital communication card, and would LOVE for you to use it as you gather with us from home! Let us know how we can pray for you, respond to the ways that God is working in your life, request pastoral care or follow-up, or just let us know that you are joining us from home. PLEASE use this resource!
  • ONLINE GIVING: we have a simple, secure online giving system that allows you to continue to worship through giving, and support the Kingdom work of LifePointe as you worship from home. It is difficult to share just how important it is for us to continue to be shaped by God as we give, and for the church to continue to operate through your generous online gifts. If you need help setting up online giving, use the Online Communication Card to request help.
  • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: our preaching team works hard to provide sermon discussion questions, which are posted at the end of the livestream. Use these questions with your roommates, family, friends or whoever is gathered with you for worship!

FAQ’s

I do not want to wear a mask. Can I just wear my mask into the building and then take it off when I get to my seat, just like at a restaurant?

Nobody likes to wear a mask! If you are unwilling to wear a mask, you should join us online. Wearing a mask is required at all times while in the building on Sunday mornings, as an expression of love and care for those in our midst and those in our community. As Christians we are entitled to use our freedom for the sake of the gospel in the lives of both those who are already part of the church and those who do not yet know Jesus (Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 Corinthians 9:19 & 22-23). It should also be noted that what happens in a restaurant is very different than what happens when we gather for worship, as singing is a significant part of the worship gathering and has been shown to be a high-risk activity with regards to COVID transmission.

I have a bad cough, but I don’t think it is COVID. Can I still come? Should I still come?

Great question! At this time, anyone with COVID symptoms should not join us for in-person worship. You may not believe that your symptoms come from COVID, but the presence of your symptoms may leave others feeling unsafe.

Why is there not children's ministry available for the Early Childhood wing during the 2nd service?  

To offer Early Childhood ministry (birth through pre-K) during the second service, we need more approved children's ministry workers! As soon as we have enough volunteers to fully staff this vital ministry, we will be positioned to better minister to families with young children. Until then, we will continue to offer this ministry during the first worship service.

Why are we following all of these restrictions, when there isn't great evidence that they really work? 

Our focus as a church is on our mission, which is to engage people in the unexpected joy of a life more and more dependent on Jesus. With that in mind, we will not spend our time, effort and resources sorting through research on what is most effective in containing COVID; instead, we will focus our time, effort and resources on making sure that the way we operate positions us to love our neighbors and increase opportunities to engage them with the gospel. We do not want differing opinions on how to best respond to the virus to keep people from being able to hear us declare the good news of Jesus!