Baptist and Reflector
Tennessee Baptist Mission Board leaders participated Tuesday, April 7, 2020, with other faith leaders from across the state in a telephone forum with Governor Bill Lee. His Office of Faith-Based Initiatives offered the guidance/clarity below concerning churches gathering on Sundays. To serve our churches well, TBMB provides these recommended prudent measures to assist pastors and church leaders in their effort to make wise decisions in the weeks ahead.
1. Concerning drive-in church, or congregants driving through the church campus for prayer and connection: While the drive-in concept is allowable, it is not recommended. Ultimately, we believe it best for the church leadership to decide what is best for their congregation. Should you decide to proceed, you must follow CDC guidelines for safe social distancing, and vehicle occupants should not open car doors or leave their cars for any reason.
2. When can we anticipate an end to the lockdown and a return to public gatherings? There is some chance that after the peak season, the next 4 weeks, we will be able to gather again. However, this is a constantly changing and evolving situation, and the Governor and the COVID-19 Unified Command will review and make decisions depending on the circumstances at the time.
3. Can ministry staff who are doing streaming services be deemed as essential? Yes, according to Executive Order 22, they are considered essential, but they still need to follow the social distancing guidelines from the CDC.
4. Numbers of people gathering? Gatherings of less than 10 are included as part of the statewide stay at home order and the Governor expects people to respect the CDC guidelines during this time. Also note that local governments may have differing guidelines that you are required to abide by.
Visit TNBaptist.org/cvresources and Facebook.com/tnbaptist for further updates and additional resources as they become available.