Many churches are struggling with the tension between desperately wanting to be together in person and wanting to be responsible and safe.

As with our initial response to COVID-19, we are not suggesting any specific course of action for your church beyond following the recommendations of health and government officials.

But we want to help.

In each phase of transitioning back to meeting in person, there are a few key Planning Center tools you can leverage. This post is about connecting with your congregation as you begin to plan.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll get into some of the nitty-gritty of the planning itself: coordinating small gatherings, creating cohorts of volunteers, and offering no-contact check-in for children and volunteers.

What does your congregation think?

When you feel ready to start organizing services, it's easy to throw yourself into planning and logistics. But what if some of your people aren't comfortable coming back yet? Get a pulse on your congregation through a survey using People Forms.

These are just sample questions. If you’re looking for some insight on what kind of questions other churches are asking in their surveys, check out the Planning Center User Community. There are people sharing their ideas—maybe you could share yours too!

If you want to include space for people to ask questions or share a need, be sure to use Workflow Fields when you set up the form. That way your team can be automatically notified to answer questions, lend a listening ear, and follow up on needs and prayer requests.

When your form is ready to share, emailing people through a list  is a great way to get the word out to everyone. You could also send a text out with the link using one of these integrations.

We know this is only the first step of a much longer process. And some of you might be trying to figure out what comes after you’ve already decided to start gathering in person.

If that’s you, keep an eye on the blog—best practices for taking service signups and coordinating at-home gatherings are up next.

♥️ Planning Center