One of the churches in my area, 12Stone Church, proposed a simple but profound analogy for talking about COVID-19 with its members and community. In the notes from their May 2020 message, they explain:
A Traffic Light
- Green Light – Go
- Yellow Light – Proceed with caution
- Red Light – Stop
There are 3 different groups of people and how they view COVID-19.
- Green Light – Don’t wear mask or use hand sanitizer. Believes we should not shut down everything. Let people decide their own risk. Green will immediately return to church with no worries.
- Yellow Light – Believes there is a reason to be cautious and will abide by the rules set – will wear a mask and will obey social distancing. Yellow will return to church but not immediately.
- Red Light – Those who are afraid to leave their homes because the risk is not worth it. Red will return to church but not until they feel it is totally safe to return to the outside world.
12Stone Church used this analogy in their survey to help determine their reopening plan, and I’ve used it in conversations with friends and family. Once I explain the analogy, I ask what light they are and then share mine so we can both know what to expect from each other and honor each other’s opinion.
As a ministry leader, your church will have people of all different lights: some red, some yellow, some green. It might be easy to try and cater to just the red lights or just the green lights in your church, but how can you minister to the whole traffic light? How can you be a traffic light children’s ministry?
How can you creatively offer a safe opportunity for the green light families to gather and connect? What can you do to communicate your precautions with the yellow light families (free resource coming Friday to help with the FAQ’s your yellow people might have)? How can you minister to the red light families who won’t be stepping foot in your building for a while?
It can be easy to focus on the group that shares the same mindset we do, but if we adopt the traffic light approach, we can “be all things to all people” for the sake of the gospel and honor one another’s opinions (1 Corinthians 9:22).