New Year Reopening Strategies for Churches

In the last installment of our North Point Ministries blog series, we explore how the largest church ministry in North America has been working on New Year reopening strategies for their churches. In our exclusive interview with lead pastor Clay Scroggins, he explained their decision-making process and how they plan to continue leveraging technology moving forward.

After deciding not to hold in-person gatherings for the remainder of 2020, North Point Ministries now has the task of looking ahead to plan a reopening strategy. A few factors will come into play as they discuss and make decisions that will affect the future of their church.

This process entails pulling quantitative and qualitative data to guide them as they create an informed reopening strategy. North Point Ministries also understands that technology will continue to be important in 2021, even after the church reopens. They’ve taken this time during the pandemic to discover how they can best connect and grow people digitally.

Here are the main strategies we took away from our interview with Clay:

Take Time to Formulate a Church Reopening Strategy

A well-thought-out reopening plan doesn’t come together overnight. This is something that North Point Ministries allowed their leaders to plan out months in advance. By choosing to remain closed in 2020, Clay and his team had the space to forecast and project the future so they could make the best decisions for their congregation.

As North Point Ministries began looking ahead to the new year, they recognized that the pandemic might forever impact the way their church functions. During the interview, Clay explained, “What happens in the next six months might end up being the future of the church.”

They took the time to observe and see where they’re headed so they can reopen responsibly.

Use Data and Feedback to Inform Your 2021 Plans

As you create a reopening strategy, it’s crucial to consider both quantitative and qualitative data. Clay said they’ll specifically keep an eye on the number of cases and hospitalizations in their area. This is the first thing that will inform their decision.

Secondly, Clay said they’ll be getting feedback from their congregation. Just because cases are lower doesn’t mean people will be comfortable meeting in large groups. Some people may also be cautious about putting their kids in childcare with hundreds of other children.

“We want to know when people are comfortable to be in a building around hundreds of other people. But again, our church is not a church just because we gather on Sundays.”

Leverage Church Technology Beyond the Pandemic

Clay explained that their church isn’t a church just because they meet on Sundays. Gathering is a part of the church, and being face-to-face is one of the best ways to grow relationships, but it’s not the only way. In the past, churches have gone through seasons where they were unable to meet, but that didn’t mean they failed to thrive.

When meeting in-person isn’t possible, it’s so important to leverage the next best thing. Clay compared digital technology to pen and ink. In 2 John 1:12, John writes, “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

Here we see that, though John would prefer to be face-to-face, he utilized the next best thing, which was pen and ink. He was still able to connect with and teach his people in that way. Similarly, the church now has technology that can be used to engage with their congregation.

“I see a church where we’re using technology—on-demand content, livestream content, and platforms where people can get connected to other people really quickly.”

To hear more about North Point’s initial pandemic response, watch our exclusive video interview with Clay Scroggins.

Strengthen Your Ministry with ChurchStaq

If you’re working on a reopening strategy and looking for ways to improve digital connections with your church, it’s essential to have a reliable suite of tools. The right tools will not only bring your congregation together, but they will encourage generosity and engagement.


“Pushpay has made it so easy to give, that groups of people have already fostered a culture of generosity before they officially become (or plant) a church.”
– Clay Scroggins.

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