I would imagine that there aren’t too many churches that aren’t struggling with how to do church in the crazy age of CoVid-19. In the course of a couple of weeks, the virus has set us back on our heels and forced us into a pretty steep learning curve of the digital realm. Some have figured it out better than others, but the overall opinion is that this is not the “new perfect”, even if it is the “new normal” for a while. We find ourselves not “going” to church, but rather, attending “E-Church”.
The challenge is that we were designed to be relational, and engaged. In the Bible, as well as history, worship is seen as interactive, rather than passive. We are a community! The idea of corporate worship is to be together; to worship and grow together.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
We are called to come together. Yet, are we in some way forsaking the assembly? There are loads of great sermons and teaching online. There is no lack of worship music to enjoy. But, these do not, they should not take the place of corporate gatherings of worship. Don’t get me wrong, I think this streaming stuff is a great solution for the short term, but it is not ideal because it lacks a certain connectivity.
Our times are to be fostering connectivity, both vertical, to God, and horizontally, with the Body of Christ. So, there is the rub… how do we do that in the context of pixels and gigabytes? Again, most churches I know are intentionally working through this difficult question. The challenge is, we do not know how long this “trip” will last.
We are packing our bags for a trip and we do not know if it is an overnight camping trip, an extended getaway, or a long-term relocation. Obviously, our destination and duration affect how we proceed. In any case, in the long run, even in the longer run, we need to be intentional about fostering connections: calling people, texting people, emails, and cards. And maybe a shout out over the back fence, or from the driveway.
So, church leaders are trying. We are discerning how to engage in the new normal, but it is difficult in that we know neither the duration or direction of this virus.
Is God on the throne? Absolutely!
Does He have a plan? Oh, yes! He has had a plan since before He created the Earth.
Are we part of that plan? Again, yes!
So, please pray for wisdom that in the midst of a fog, that the Church can see, and be seen.
This is not about killing time, but using it efficiently for His glory.
Even in the swirl of quarantined life, I pray you would find time to foster connections.