It’s no surprise that things are a little different in our world today with the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. We’re all trying to learn to navigate the necessary changes and difficulties that accompany trying to prevent the spread of the virus. Our churches are no exception to trying to figure out navigating the virus. Many churches, possibly your own, are setting up online services to allow us to continue to worship from our homes as we’re not able to gather in our normal places and times.
How then does one engage in an online worship service from home? Below are some tips to help you engage with your church in worship from your home.
- Remember, it’s worship your engaging in – You might still be in your pajamas this Sunday morning at 11:00 but you’ve still got the opportunity to worship. Don’t just have the worship service on in the background, be intentional. Transfer the service to your tv if you have that option or set the computer up in front of the whole family. You might not be in your normal sanctuary, but you’ve got the opportunity to worship the Lord with your church family at the same time in different places.
- Tune in to the worship service at the appointed time your church leadership has established. If you normally meet at 10:00 and your church goes live at 10:00, be there just like you would be if you were on campus at church.
- Sing along – if your church is offering music with the online service, sing with them. God can be worshiped from the couch by his people, not just the pew.
- Bring your Bible and open it up. Your pastor will have as much of a desire for you (if not more during these difficult times) to hear from God’s Word from a livestream as he does when you’re sitting in the pew.
- Take notes – you might typically take notes during the sermon on Sunday morning or you may not. Taking notes is a great way to stay engaged, remember the message a bit better, and it gives you opportunity to visit what was said again later. This is a good opportunity to try it if you’ve never done so before.
- Continue to worship through giving – giving is an aspect of worship. Your church may not be meeting, but they’ll still have a budget to meet, missions to support, and bills to pay. If your church has online giving (many churches are setting it up for the first time amid this crisis) give online. If you normally give your offering with a check, drop it in the mail. For those of us who are Southern Baptists during this time, remember the Annie Armstrong missions offering collected this time of year also.
- Pray – when your church leadership is praying, pray with them. The time before us is one that calls for much prayer. Pray that you would be engaged with worship. Pray for your church leaders. Pray for your fellow church members. Pray for the other churches in your area going through the same things. Pray for our Local, State, and Federal Governments as they do have the difficulty of dealing with COVID-19.
- Have Patience – this might be a new process for your church. It’ll take time to get the bugs worked out. There may be technical problems and glitches, but they’ll get worked out in time.
- If you miss the service – go back and watch it. Even if you aren’t able tune in at the appointed time, go back and engage in the same ways listed above at another time.
- Share – share your church’s services with others. Use your social media platforms to share the services. One great thing about all these transitions to online services is that the church has a myriad of new opportunities to share the gospel with people who may not darken the door of a church, but who every day scroll their Facebook feeds.
I pray we need these measures for just a short time. But in the meantime, let us worship.