Life.Church holds in-person services with pre-screening guidance for churchgoers

Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel speaks to congregants on May 9, 2020, the day Life.Church resumed in-person services at some locations.
Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel speaks to congregants on May 9, 2020, the day Life.Church resumed in-person services at some locations. | Life.Church via screengrab

After “significant amount of prayer and preparation” and briefing congregants about government recommendations for safety, the multi-site Life.Church resumed in-person services at some of their locations on Saturday and Sunday.

Life.Church says it had been monitoring guidelines and best practices for gathering in a safe way the last several weeks before making the decision to resume in-person services with a significantly reduced capacity at 22 locations over the weekend.

All members who want to attend services are asked to reserve their seat, but only after answering the following questions: “Am I showing any flu-like symptoms? Have I had a fever of 100.4 or higher in the past 14 days? Have I had prolonged exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? Is there any medical reason why I believe I shouldn’t be around others?”

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The church says its weekend services “have been redesigned to create a sanitary, touchless environment that allows for physical distancing.”

Life.Church has not resumed LifeKids.

During Saturday's service, Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel preached on staying positive.

There’s a lot of negative talk going on, especially because of the newspaper coverage, said Groeschel, who founded Life.Church along with his wife, Amy, and a few others in 1996. 

The pastor said he at times finds himself emotionally on edge these days and is more easily angered and discouraged.

But we need to have an attitude of faith, and continue to believe that God is good, he added.

He said he is, and it’s possible for believers to be, “unshakably optimistic about the future.”

“Optimism is not a denial of the reality,” he cautioned. “It’s not blind faith.” 

According to the dictionary, he said, optimism is having confidence about the future or about a successful outcome.

Spiritually, he explained, optimism could be seen as “the unwavering expectation that our loving God is working in every situation for our future good.”

He quoted Romans 8:28, which reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

He told the congregation, “Whatever consumes your mind controls your life. … The quality of your life will never exceed the quality of your thoughts.”

Pessimists, he continued, “tend to view negative events as personal and permanent.” Optimists, on the other hand, he said, believe that “the struggle I’m in today is producing the strength I need tomorrow.”

He concluded with Romans 8:38-39, which reads: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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