Chet Gladkowski on How Making Plans for Small Groups Are Now Like Making Plans for Earthquakes

If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we don’t know what’s next. So, your plans for small groups and preparations need to be like buildings made for an earthquake. The 2009 L’Aquila earthquake in Italy was devastating. It damaged thousands of buildings, both new and ancient, leaving 65,000 people homeless. The main reason for the extent of damage was not the earthquake itself, but poor construction standards that did not allow the buildings to “move” with the earthquake. One official from Italy’s Civil Protection Agency said, “In California, an earthquake like this one would not have killed a single person.” When the earthquake hit, these “stiff” buildings could not move, so they snapped and collapsed.

While we have not gone through a physical earthquake, the ground beneath our feet certainly has shaken when it comes to small group gatherings. Just when we thought we’re getting our arms around what to do, what not to do, a new surge appears, a new set of instructions come out. Just when the trends were moving in the right direction, there is a spike, causing concern and raising levels of fear and anxiety.

We’ve gone through outright cancellations. Then the rush to Zoom. As worship reopened, face-to-face small groups reemerged. As we carefully got together, did we shake hands? Bump fists or elbows? Hug? And as the pandemic seemed to be passing, so did our alertness to precaution and prevention.

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Source: Church Leaders