Before We Gather 

Prepare your building now for the return of worship

Churches are eager to return to normal operations and welcome their congregations to sing praises to the Lord.  As ministries across the country prepare for a gradual return to normal fellowship as a body, you may be wondering how your ministry can prepare its facilities to address health and safety. Here are steps you can take now to make sure your facilities are ready for normal operations.

Preparing Your Facility

Cleaning and maintaining your building shows care for your people and can help ease the worry of returning to corporate worship. 

The following checklist items are provided by Cool Solutions Group, LLC. While not a comprehensive list of everything that may need attention in your facility, it’s a good place to start. For a full checklist of items, see the Cool Solutions Group facilities checklist

  • Deep clean your entire church. This may include shampooing carpets and cleaning floors. Also consider sanitizing pews and chairs, bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, tablets, microphones, trash receptacles, remote controls, offering plates, items in the children’s ministry, and other high-touch surfaces. This article provides best practices for cleaning and sanitizing your facility.
     
  • Check all restroom and kitchen fixtures. Run water and flush toilets to confirm operation.
     
  • Pour at least a half-gallon of water down every active floor drain.
     
  • Inspect all interior and exterior components of the HVAC units. Clean coils, remove any debris, replace filters as required, and check the drain for the over-flow pan.
     
  • Operate all the HVAC equipment in both modes to ensure proper equipment operation and control operation.
     
  • Ensure proper operation of all interior lighting.
     
  • Confirm proper operation of the sound system.
     
  • Ensure all maintenance, custodial, and supply closets/rooms are cleaned and organized.
     
  • Ensure all custodial supplies and equipment are clean, stocked, and available (including consumables like toilet paper and paper towels).
     
  • Remove or secure all non-essential items on the property such as playground equipment or outdoor seating.
     
  • Walk entire property before allowing operations to fully commence. Check all areas (including the exterior) and perform a final visual check for any items out of place or requiring adjustment.

In addition to preparing for the return of normal operations, now may also be a great time to look at your facility’s deferred maintenance items. As your people return to church, it will be important to greet them with a clean and well-cared for property. Here are some additional items to check now:

  • Check ceiling tiles for stains and/or damage. Replace/repair as required.
     
  • Safely inspect the roof (if low slope) for any debris and remove as necessary. Repair any damage. 
     
  • Confirm operation of all drains, gutters, scuppers, and downspouts.
     
  • Check windows for signs of cracked or missing sealant. Re-caulk as necessary.
     
  • Operate all doors to check function and to look for worn or missing weather stripping.
     
  • Make sure handrails are secured properly.
     
  • Inspect all fire or emergency exit pathways/routes.
     
  • Inspect and repair loose or damaged flooring.

Brotherhood Mutual provides additional preventive maintenance guidance in our online Safety Library. This article is a great place to start.

Ministries are excited about returning to worship as a body. By taking some time to prepare your building, you’ll convey the love and care that will help your people focus on worship.

Posted April 24, 2020

The information provided in this article is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.