Directive for Re-Opening of Ghana Baptist Convention Churches
Official PDF Version: Directive for Re-Opening of Ghana Baptist Convention Churches
3RD JUNE 2020
TO ALL GHANA BAPTIST CONVENTION CHURCHES
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings of peace and hope in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Shalom!
We deem it necessary to issue this guideline to our churches following the Government of Ghana’s relaxation of the restrictions on congregational meetings in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We acknowledge that the period of congregational lockdown has had a telling effect on our churches in countless ways while providing an opportunity for some to explore new ways of doing ministry.
The normal assembly of our members with its spiritual, emotional, material, and social benefits was in most cases replaced with virtual services through electronic media. Some of our churches could not put together virtual services because of logistical limitations, and where these arrangements were put in place, some church members were unable to access them because they did not have the gadgets or the data to do so.
In the interim, we put out a simple plan to promote small group worship especially at the family unit level. We hope that these arrangements helped, and that the lessons learnt in the process will contribute to a richer church life which finds expression beyond the walls of the chapel, in social media, in the communities, and particularly, in the family unit.
The WHO has indicated that the COVID-19 situation may be around for some time to come, up to and after a vaccine has been discovered by the grace of God.
In the light of the above, the Presidency, in consultation with the Denominational Board of the Convention direct that.
- All Ministers’ Fellowships should meet on 8th June 2020 to deliberate on the implementation of the established protocols based on your context. Where the Fellowship is more than 100 members, the meeting should be held in groups not exceeding 100 at a time and the findings put together. Fellowships that can make use of ZOOM may explore that option
- As a way of controlling the attendance to the said Fellowship meetings, only the Senior Pastor of a local church or his authorized representative is to attend these meetings.
- At these meetings, the Local Fellowship Executive Committees, working with the Sector Heads, through the Association Heads, should assist the local churches by developing a framework to guide the easy implementation of the APPROPRIATE PROTOCOLS within their unique church settings. Checklists should be developed to help monitor this step.
- Our churches are free to resume physical services, GRANTED THAT THEY TAKE ALL STEPS TO ENSURE THAT THE PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS GIVEN BY GOVERNMENT ARE FULLY COMPLIED WITH.
- For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that no Convention member-church should re-open without first putting in place measures to meet all the precautionary conditions outlined by the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs in furtherance of the Government position. Association and Zonal Heads are to guide churches in this regard.
- In the event where a church is ready to re-open we advise that each local church Pastor in consultation with the local church leadership, determine the best way to bring their people together, taking into consideration all the necessary precautions, the provision of the appropriate logistics, and effective space management to meet physical distancing requirements.
- Each Convention member-church should take pains and adequate time to procure or acquire all the logistical items needed to ensure physical safety in their meetings before they resume. There should be no hurry, and nothing should be done in a rush to re-open any member-church services.
- No Convention member-church should meet in large congregation before 14th June 2020. The period between now and the said date should be used to arrange the necessary logistics.
- In the meantime, all churches should deliberately establish, strengthen, and promote small groups (family and area fellowships).
Let us continue to cry to our God for His intervention in the curtailment of this pandemic.
May God bless and keep us all.
Yours to serve Christ,
REV. DR. ERNEST ADU-GYAMFI