5 Stages to Re-Engage In-Person Gatherings
We are on Stage 5 // Starting August 16, 2020,
Read more about our stages below and check-out our
Q&A section for additional information and resources.
As of Wednesday, July 8, our elders and pastors sensed Jesus inviting us into Stage 5 of our 5 Stage Plan to Re-Engage In-Person Gatherings. In Stage 5, we’ll expand building use for all types of small, medium, and large-group gatherings. This transition starts on August 16th with our first in-person large gathering. We will follow sanitation and social distancing practices as needed and set by BC and local and state governments. See the Questions and Answer section below for more information on what we’re doing to keep our families and visitors safe.
For those unable to attend in-person gatherings, we will continue posting virtual gatherings on bctulsa.com and our YouTube channel. We will record the Sunday service and post the recording Sunday evening. We encourage families and groups with vulnerable populations to continue meeting virtually. Those who sense the Lord leading them to gather in-person should follow sanitation and social distancing practices set by BC and state, and local governments.
Explore our Q&A section below for more information and resources. If you have an immediate need or additional questions, please call us at (918) 495-2929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re checking our messages daily.
Questions and Answers
What are our "5 Stages to Re-Engage Community Gatherings"?
BC’s 5-stage approach for resuming in-person gatherings is our roadmap for resuming face-to-face gatherings based on discipleship goals, staff capacities, and current government regulations. As you’ll see, we’ve intentionally left out dates on each stage. See our discernment process below.
Each of our stages honor federal, state, and local regulations, but they aren’t directly related to any government “phase.”
This 5-stage approach allows us to continue serving, supporting, and growing our exciting network of small gatherings. Like concentric circles, we’ll start with smaller in-person gatherings, slowly working our way out to medium and larger gatherings, eventually resuming the full use of our building. However, we wrote this plan in pencil knowing that Jesus will write out His plan in pen.
We’ll keep you updated as we go, Beloved. Continue praying with us as we hear from and follow Jesus together.
How are we discerning to move forward from stage to stage?
Our vision is still and will always be Jesus, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every Wednesday, our Elders Team and Pastors gather to discern, asking Jesus: “What are you doing in BC right now?” We weekly commit to the following discernment process, and encourage all BC folks to practice the same for discerning God’s will together:
1.) We prepare our hearts by gathering together, clarifying our question, and affirming our guiding values.
2.) We put ourselves in a position to be led by experiencing God’s presence, praying for indifference, testing for indifference, praying for wisdom, and praying for quiet trust.
3.) We discern God’s will together by setting an agenda for listening, listening to each other, listening to God in silence, reconvening and listening again, identifying and working with options, agreeing together, seeking inner confirmation, and affirming God’s guidance.
4.) We commit to do the will of God together by communicating with those who need to know, making plans to do God’s will as we have come to understand it, and keep discerning as we do God’s will.
As elders and pastors, we sense that Jesus is not in a hurry with BC. He’s not anxious. He’s our steady Peace and our Good Shepherd. And we’re committed to following His lead because He is the true leader of Believers Church. As Pastor Cindy reminds us, “We won’t go until we know.”
If you’ve been following our Sunday teachings, you’ll notice that we sense Jesus creating a “wilderness” experience for us during this moment. He wants to lead us to a beautiful and exciting Promise Land of nearness and likeness to Him! In this wilderness, He’s already performed an incredible miracle. Quickly, we were uprooted and formed into 40+ small groups! And more are forming, Beloved! Our community is more connected now than at any time in our history. We want to honor this work and allow Him to keep growing it.
What to Expect During Large In-Person Gatherings
Health & Safety
- We encourage anyone who is high-risk at contracting COVID-19 or lives with someone who is high-risk to continue virtual gatherings. We will record the Sunday gathering and post to bctulsa.com Sunday evening.
- Every week we will post a registration link on bctulsa.com so that individuals and families can register for the upcoming in-person gathering. This helps us keep within capacity. At this time, we are limiting registration to 205 individuals per service. To do this, we utilize the Fireside Room and have adjusted the layout of the Sanctuary to prioritize adequate space for social distancing.
- By registering you are confirming that you and your family have not recently been sick or exposed to anyone diagnosed with/displaying symptoms of COVID-19. We will not allow anyone in the building who has.
- We perform a health check of each staff and volunteer before they enter the building.
- We ask that everyone in attendance practice social distancing and sanitation. We have sanitation stations located around the building.
- For the time being, masks are required in the building for those over the age of 18 who do not fall into the CDC’s guidance for those who should not wear Face Coverings due to a medical or mental health condition. Masks are encouraged for children above the age of 2 who are able to wear one.
- We have green wristbands available for individuals who are exempt from wearing a mask and have spoken with a staff member.
- Our building is sanitized before, in between and after each service.
- Upon arrival, each person must check-in and enter through the front entrance. After service, we ask that everyone exit through the rear entrances of the Sanctuary. This allows us adequate time to clean and sanitize between services.
- At this time, the Cafe, Kitchen, and our Kids Classrooms are not open.
For Children & Families
- Childcare will not be provided for gatherings until Sep. 6, 2020, but children are more than welcome to attend until then. Once classes are open, we’ll have measures in place to protect children and volunteers.
- Activity sheets will be available in the Sanctuary for kids.
- The nursing mothers room will be open.
How does my small group discern to meet in-person, continue meeting virtually, or maybe blend the two?
Our 5 stages are invitations for each individual, family, and small group to meet in-person, but there’s no rush, and each gathering will look different depending on the dynamics and discernment of the individual, family, and group.
1.) 100% Virtual: You may choose this format if your small group or family enjoys the virtual platform or one or more individuals within your group is considered high-risk. If your small group or family has high-risk individuals, it may be best to continue meeting virtually.
2.) 100% In-Person: This format is completely optional. You may choose this format if no one among you is high-risk and everyone is willing to follow all of the guidelines listed on this page. Small groups can meet in homes, parks, or other places so long as it’s safe to do so.
3.) Blended Format: This is a good middle format. Small groups may choose this format if one or more individuals within your group is high-risk yet many in your group would like to meet in-person. Try to make a plan to include those who are high-risk or unable to attend in-person by using Zoom or another online conferencing tool.
The format your family or group chooses depends on your discernment with Jesus. This is a beautiful opportunity to practice hearing and obeying Jesus as a family or group. But it can be intimidating. First, Jesus loves talking with us and giving us direction. Second, you can hear Him! Here are some helpful tips. Group Leaders, you can reach out to your Regional Leader for extra guidance.
1.) When praying and deciding a format, a good question to ask and pray through as a group is: “What’s the most loving thing we can do as a family/group to protect those most vulnerable among us?” If anyone is high-risk, please consider resuming virtual gatherings or trying a blended format.
2.) As a group/family, here’s a helpful and tested rhythm for hearing and following God’s will together: Movements in Corporate Leadership Discernment
How is BC assessing risk and responding to new positive cases at BC?
BC has measures in place to help you self-assess your level of risk and exposure and processes in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Explore our Risk Assessment and Response Page for More information.
Who is considered high-risk for COVID-19 infection?
According to medical doctors, including our friends at In His Image (IHI), the following people are at much higher risk for COVID-19 and severe illness and death if infected:
– Anyone with a temperature of 99.6 or above.
– Anyone with ANY respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)
– Anyone 60 years of age or older
– All overweight individuals with a BMI over 35 (can find calculators on the internet)
– Anyone with any type of diabetes
– Anyone with any lung disease, including asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or COPD
– Anyone with heart disease, including congestive heart failure or a history of coronary bypass surgery or stents
– Anyone with cancer
– Anyone with autoimmune disease, or on medication that can affect the immune system
– Anyone with an organ transplant or on immunosuppressant medications
When gathering, how do I protect myself and others?
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community, please read through the following information, adhere to BC’s guidelines, and follow federal, state, and local guidelines. You can learn more about these guidelines using the following websites:
– White House Guidelines: https://www.whitehouse.gov/openingamerica/
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/
– Oklahoma State Department of Health: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/
– Tulsa Health Department: https://www.tulsa-health.org/COVID19
– BC’s 4 C’s For Preventing COVID-19*
* BC’s guidelines are in compliance with federal, state, and local guidelines.
1.) Know How COVID-19 Spreads
– There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
– The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
– The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
– Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
– Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
– These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
– Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
2.) Reduce the Spread of COVID-19
As a group, every person is responsible for following the following guidelines set by BC:
If your group needs extra materials for cleaning, disinfecting, or sanitation, ask your Regional Leader or email email@example.com for a “Keep it Clean Kit” that contains masks, hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectant, and tissues.
3.) Lovingly Screen for Suspected/Confirmed COVID-19 Cases While Gathering
If someone participating in your in-person gathering shows symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath) or has COVID-19, try to practice the following:
1.) A group leader should respectfully ask the symptomatic or sick person to head home right away. Please avoid the use of public transportation, shared rides, and taxis to transport a symptomatic or sick person home. Please practice social distancing during this interaction.
2.) If the individual is unable to safely go home, have them go to a designated room until they can safely go home or be picked up. Contact emergency services for those who need emergency care, when needed, and let them know about the person’s symptoms. Once in a separate room, give them a clean, disposable face mask to wear until they can leave. If not available, provide them with a tissue or some other way to cover their coughs and sneezes.
3.) Immediately sanitize any spaces the individual may have touched or used. Please use protective gloves if available and avoid touching your face until you’ve properly cleaned your hands.
4.) Immediately inform BC by leaving a message at (918) 495-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A BC Staff member will contact the individual to follow up, encourage testing, offer pastoral care, retrieve additional information, and monitor the situation.
How can I continue giving if I am unable to attend worship gatherings?
Online Giving is available for your convenience. You may also mail in cash or checks to Believers Church at 4705 S Memorial Dr., Tulsa, OK 74145.
The 5 Stages
Virtual Small Groups
We’ll use Zoom and other online tools to gather virtually in small groups. All church-wide teachings and resources will be distributed online at www.bctulsa.com for Stages 1-4.
In-Person, Virtual, or Blended Small Groups
Small groups, including CR 12-Step Groups and Fusion DNAs, can continue to gather virtually or can now gather in-person in homes, yards, parks, etc. as long as they follow sanitation and social distancing practices set by BC. Groups with vulnerable populations should continue virtual gatherings or consider a blended format.
Building Use for Smaller Gatherings
We’ll open our main building to be used by CR 12-Step Groups, Sozo Ministry, Office Hours, Benevolence Ministry, and Pastoral Counseling as long as sanitation and social distancing practices are followed. Small groups can continue to meet virtually or in-person following Stage 2’s sanitation practices, social distancing practices, and consideration for the vulnerable.
Building Use for Medium Gatherings
We’ll expand building use for medium-sized gatherings such as Fusion, Collective, Celebrate Recovery, and larger small groups as long as they follow sanitation and social distancing practices set by BC. Small groups can continue to meet virtually or in-person following Stage 2’s sanitation practices, social distancing practices, and consideration for the vulnerable.
Full Building Use
We’ll expand building use for all types of small, medium, and large-group gatherings, including the use of the Sanctuary, Prayer Room, and Children’s Rooms. We will follow sanitation and social distancing practices as needed and set by BC.