Staying Online While Meeting In Person (Webinar)
This webinar and Q&A includes an update on the 'Rule of Six' laws and a discussion about how churches can continue online ministry when meeting in-person again.
FIEC National Director John Stevens gives an update on the new 'Rule of Six' law and how it might apply to churches. He is also joined by Phill Brown, pastor at Cowplain Evangelical Church, who shares how his church managed their online presence before the lockdown, what they did during lockdown, and what their plans are to continue online as they move out of lockdown.
00:00 - Bible teaching (Psalm 103:1-5) (John Stevens)
05:19 - Understanding and Applying the 'Rule of Six' (John Stevens)
31:12 - Staying Online While Meeting In-Person (Phill Brown)
59:27 - Q&A
- Should I cancel a preaching engagement at a church which is planning to sing, against the guidance?
- How does the 'rule of six' affect staff and stewards in a church service?
- What can a church manse do in terms of work?
- How should we communicate to our congregations what they should or shouldn't be doing?
- Can a pastor or staff member speak with more than six people or is that counted as mingling?
- Can we book people into 'qualifying groups'?
- Can Sunday School and children's groups continue, are they exempt from the 'rule of six'?
- How should we deal with recalcitrant members in a service?
- Would restrictions apply for a pastors' fraternal meeting in a place of worship?
- Do children over 11 need to wear face masks in out of school settings?
- Are walks in the park together after church now illegal?
- What are the minimal essentials for online activities for small churches with fewer resources?
- How are visiting preachers affected by the restrictions?
- If I hire a building, who needs to do a risk assessment?
Key updates and comments
- There is a shift to make more things unlawful, for example, gatherings of more than six (although there are some exemptions);
- Multiple 'qualifying groups' of six can be in the same place but must not mingle;
- Social distancing is still required within a 'qualifying group' of six between households, and between other groups;
- 'Mingling' is not avoided by social distancing but involves any social interaction between groups;
- Church meetings in private dwellings (such as prayer meetings or Bible studies) are now possible for up to six people from multiple households;
- If organised by the church, there should be a risk assessment conducted for the meeting;
- Worship services are still permitted but there should be no mingling between groups. This is now law.
- Other meetings (such as prayer meetings or Bible studies) are still permitted but only within groups of up to six - no mingling;
- It's important to experiment with technology to see how it goes;
- We live in a visual age: people like to see as well as read or listen. This goes not only for online but also in physical meetings;
- With social distancing, the majority of the congregation has to watch from home. So both audiences need to be included in the service.
- Cowplain Evangelical Church Online Experience (youtube.com);
- Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do (gov.uk);
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Meeting with others safely (social distancing) (gov.uk);
- New lockdown rules: what does it mean for churches? (eauk.org);
- Coronavirus: A Rough Guide To The ‘Rule Of Six’ - What Does The New Law On Social Gatherings Mean For Churches? (john-stevens.com);
- Coronavirus: A Brief Summary Of The Updated Government Guidance For Places of Worship & FAQs From The Department Of Housing Communities & Local Government (john-stevens.com).
You can watch previous webinars and sign up for future webinars on the Leadership in Lockdown page.