It has been accepted as common sense by this point that partying is detrimental to keeping the coronavirus from spreading rapidly through Baylor’s campus. An idea that hasn’t been explored nearly as much is the idea that the virus is also being spread during church services by those who are relaxing safety measures on Sunday mornings.
Community, especially church fellowship, is incredibly necessary during this pandemic, and those who turn to religion or faith for encouragement have every right to do so. However, many churches are not taking the proper precautions or requiring members of their congregation to social distance or wear masks through the entirety of the service.
It doesn’t matter how safe you are during the week if you choose to sit next to a few dozen strangers for an hour or two on Sunday morning, taking off your mask to sing and then joining the mass of humans who make a beeline for the door when the service is over.
Some churches are doing the best they can to be strict about safety precautions, but there is only so much enforcing they can do. If you find that your church is still carrying on like it was pre-pandemic, you may want to consider sticking to live-streaming. It isn’t quite the same experience as being there in person, but you aren’t safe from catching the coronavirus just because you are in a church.
Spiritual and physical wellness should go hand-in-hand. Find encouragement and be involved in the service, but don’t put your health and the health of your classmates and roommates at risk by attending an in-person service where no one takes safety precautions seriously.
It’s not that hard to wear a mask for a couple hours at a time. We do it every day as students on campus.
Going to parties is frowned upon because no one is socially distanced, there are large crowds of people gathered together and masks are not worn consistently. How is it then OK for people to attend a church where these same scenarios are in play?
We need a little — make that a lot — of Jesus, now more than ever, but be careful you aren’t assuming you get a free pass from COVID-19 because you decide to go to church.
If you don’t feel that your church is being safe, you do have a few options. You can live-stream the service with a couple roommates or friends. You can get involved with small groups at your church that keep the numbers small but the conversation rich.
Don’t feel that by limiting your time in the sanctuary you are going to lose that community that is vital right now. There are other ways to be involved in your church.
Churches are doing everything they can to keep their doors open, so those of us who choose to attend them in person have a responsibility to protect one another by wearing our masks the entire time and staying at least six feet apart from one another.