You may have noticed that church looks a little different right now. At Life.Church, we’re taking safety precautions by implementing touchless services and physical distancing. But if you’re not ready to come back to church yet, that doesn’t mean church is canceled or that you’re not a part of it. As followers of Jesus, we are the Church. So, how can we stay connected even if we don’t meet in person?
During this season, we’ve seen God working in and through people attending Life.Church Online as our world works together to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Having Church at Home With Your LifeGroup
Doing church from home is not a new thing. Here’s some encouragement from the Apostle Paul who helped lead the early church when it essentially only met in homes.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
Here are some ideas:
Attend Life.Church Online together. As the phrase social distancing becomes a household term, we know that we can still be social and connected even if we’re physically distanced. We can keep meeting together digitally. You are always invited to one of our Church Online services throughout the week. But don’t just attend by yourself. You can invite your friends, family, LifeGroup, or anyone to join you.
In fact, you can start or join a Church at Home LifeGroup. If you’re not comfortable returning to church yet, or if there’s not a location near you, your LifeGroup may choose to have an in-person or digital Church at Home watch party! There are so many ways you can host a watch party. You can invite people over to watch the message together. Then, after the message, you can help people determine their next step and discuss some of the questions from the Talk It Over. You could also agree to watch the message separately and come together to discuss it at a later time. You’ll want to meet during the week, if possible, so that when you and your LifeGroup are ready to go back to church, you can continue regularly meeting together.
There’s something for kids too. We have age-specific content for everyone in your home. Our Switch Students (grades 6-12) should follow us on Instagram and YouTube to stay connected. Here’s everything you need for all the kids in your home. Also, parents, here’s something for you.
If you choose an in-person watch party, your kids can have their own LifeKids experience, too. They can simply watch the content designed for their age and then talk it over themselves or with all of the parents.
Remember why you’re meeting together. If you’re in a LifeGroup, now is a great time to revisit what it means to be a group of people following Jesus together. At its core, a LifeGroup is a group of friends who walk through life together. Why you connect remains the same no matter how you connect.
Start or join a Digital Chat LifeGroup. Another great way you can stay connected if you’re not yet comfortable going to church or an in-person LifeGroup is to be a part of a digital chat LifeGroup. It’s a great, simple way to develop relationships! You’ll simply use a chat app of your choice—maybe a social media platform, text messaging, WhatsApp, etc.—and talk throughout the week. Maybe you’ll post a discussion question from the Talk It Over. You could also start doing Bible Plans With Friends and discussing those. Whatever you talk about, you can find ways to connect during the week with your digital community.
Start or join a Video LifeGroup. Another way you can stay connected to people if meeting in-person isn’t an option for you is by leading or joining a video LifeGroup. In these types of LifeGroups, people will choose a designated time to connect over a video chat platform—maybe Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
Here are some resources for any type of LifeGroup:
- Listen to the You’ve Heard It Said podcast and talk it over with your LifeGroup.
- Spend time in God’s Word through the YouVersion Bible App. Use the new Prayer feature to pray with people you love, and do a Bible Plan together using Plans with Friends. There are lots of great plans available around topics like fear, anxiety, and hope.
- Use the Talk It Over Guide in your LifeGroup, at the dinner table with family, on the phone with friends, in a Facebook group, or wherever you’re having conversations about what God is saying to you through our weekly messages.
- Make use of digital communication tools like video chats, group text, group chats, and social media groups.
- If you’re leading a LifeGroup, visit our LifeGroup leader site for helpful insights into just about any question you might have about leading a group.
- Search finds.life.church for articles about overcoming anxiety, finding peace, choosing faith over fear, or any kind of topic you and people you know might be facing in your faith. Please share, repost, and pass around these articles to anyone who needs them.
What Does It Look Like to Be the Church?
We don’t just go to church; we are the Church, and that means loving our neighbors as ourselves where we are. But how do we do that right now? The best way to discover the needs of neighbors is simply to text or call and ask how they’re doing. Here are some ideas for being the Church right where you are:
- Text or call people you know who are vulnerable (elderly, asthmatic, organ-transplant recipients, those living with MS, HIV, cancer, diabetes, etc.) and ask how they are feeling. Listen to them. Pray with them. Ask if there’s anything they need.
- FaceTime or call your friends and family. Skip the text. As people are practicing social distancing, seeing your face and/or hearing your voice will go a long way for their well-being, as it will yours. Talk about anything and everything, especially if it doesn’t have to do with world events.
- Email your neighborhood or housing association and offer to pick up prescriptions or groceries for those who can’t, or shouldn’t. Again, only do this if you know you are well.
- Call your local food banks, local partners, and non-profits and ask about what would best assist their efforts.
- Give. God has blessed many of us with margin—both financially and with our time. Look for ways to be generous with your family, your friends, your church, and your neighbors.
- Look for needs on social media. People are quick to point out that they’re in need on social media. Maybe someone needs encouragement, prayer, or someone just to be kind. Meet a need.
- Call or text parents you know. With school being postponed for a month or more, there could be some moms and dads struggling with the new reality of working from home and balancing the needs of their children. Sometimes just talking with another adult helps.
- Pray specifically. Pray for a vaccine that works. Pray for healing and protection for your neighbors all around the world. Pray for God to show you when, where, and how to act.
Share Stories and Find Hope
#LCanywhere: Will you do us a favor and help us discover your story by posting about your experiences with church at home? You can do this by tagging your post with this hashtag: #lcanywhere
You can share stories of church at home or being the Church where you are. You can also follow the hashtag to be encouraged with other people’s stories! Want to share a little hope on social media? Repost Life.Church channel content, share your own personal stories of overcoming anxiety and finding peace, and invite people to attend Life.Church Online with you. Follow Life.Church on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.
Health and Safety Reminders
- Stay up to date with recommendations and requirements from your local, state, and federal government.
- Practice social distancing and excellent hygiene, and use caution when meeting with others in any way.
- If you believe you may have been in contact with someone infected by Coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact your health care provider, practice all recommended health guidelines, and keep coming back for hope and encouragement at Life.Church Online.
Remember, just because church is different right now doesn’t mean we stop being the Church. We are the Church. And as the Church, we have an opportunity to live out the love, hope, joy, and peace that can only be found in Jesus. We will live by faith, trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in homes around the world as people continue to worship God together online, with family, or as the Church wherever they are.
To stay connected to what’s happening with Life.Church during this time, sign up for email communication here.