Across the country, the question is being asked, “Are churches ‘essential businesses’?” The answer is, YES!

The National Center for Life and Liberty has maintained throughout the entire COVID-19 quarantine period that churches are indeed essential businesses. We have found little pushback from state and local governments on churches continuing to meet the needs of their people during this time.

What does the classification of my church as an essential business allow us to do?

  1. Volunteers and church staff responsible for producing your online service may travel to church, work on site, and travel home without interference from state or local government.
  2. Throughout the week, pastors and church staff may travel to and from church to perform the duties of the church.
  3. Pastors and church staff may continue to perform their duties to care for church members when deemed necessary.
  4. Volunteers may routinely travel to and from church to fulfill church functions, such as cleaning, maintaining the food bank, handling missions disbursements, etc.

Download the ‘essential worker’ letter to provide your church employees and volunteers.

Does the essential business classification allow our congregation to hold services?

The essential business classification does not automatically allow your church to hold public gatherings, which is still a legal concern for many churches at this time. Whether or not a congregation may meet as a group inside the worship center or in the parking lot is determined on a county-by-county basis. Each county operates under a different mandate, with varying levels of support from the local sheriff's department, which is tasked with enforcing any mandate. Contact our office for specific guidance for your county regarding the best approach to protect you and your church legally.

If you are looking for help on this issue, please call our office at 888-233-6255 or email us at Our legal team stands by ready to assist you in working through the best approach for your church.

Friday COVID-19 Update