You may have noticed that church looks a little different right now. You may have already experienced church at home. Churches in many countries are suspending regular in-person gatherings, but that doesn’t mean church is canceled. As followers of Jesus, we are the Church. So, how can we stay connected even if we don’t meet in person?
During these recent weeks, we’ve seen God working in and through people attending as our world works together to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Having Church at Home
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.
Here are some ideas:
Attend Life.Church Online. 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 services throughout the week. But don’t just attend by yourself. You can invite your friends, family, LifeGroup, or anyone to join you.
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.
Discover tools for any kind of LifeGroup. 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, who walk through life together. Why you connect remains the same no matter how you connect. Here are some resources:
- Spend time in God’s Word through the . 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 , , and .
- Use the 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 for helpful insights into just about any question you might have about leading a group.
- Search 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. . 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, , 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 , , , , and .
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.
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