Updated: Sep 8, 2020
In times of social isolation, we have so much to be thankful for in our technology. We can still talk to each other, see each other in real time through screens, and have access to a plethora of online resources. However, we also can quickly be entangled by the sinful use of these gifts. There is massive temptation to shift back and forth between anxiety inducing news and mind numbing entertainment. We are having to adapt to "new normals." Schedules are more flexible, and there are so many things grasping for our attention and offering us comfort. Where does the church fit into this?
We know that the church is not a building; it is the gathering of believers to worship God together, be shaped by the Word, and be sent out to emulate Him to a watching world. We cannot meet together, sing as a congregation or take the Lord's Supper, but technology provides the means to continue walking through life with our local church family. As we grieve the absence of the things, let's think beyond the current limitations of Sunday mornings.
How do we continue to be faithful church members, when the church itself cannot meet?
1. Don't be an "online church" nomad
Utilize all of the ways that your church is providing for you to stay involved. Watch the service of the church you are a member of or of your home church, if you are spending the remainder of the semester with your family. Attend online Sunday school or small group bible studies that your church is putting together, in order to stay connected to the local body.
2. Utilize resources your church is putting out
Look at your church's website and see what books, articles, or other online resources they recommend. Take advantage of the extra time to read a book you have been interested in for a while, or dive deeper into a topic you have had questions about.
3. Initiate accountability or discipleship
Gather a small group of other church members (same of differing ages) together to meet over Zoom or FaceTime weekly. Discuss the Sunday sermon, study a book of the Bible, memorize Scripture together, or pray for one another. Stay engaged with other believers and hold each other accountable to grow during this season.
4. Meet new fellow church members
Does your church have a directory? Reach out to members you do not know. Call and introduce yourself to elderly members and ask them how you they are doing during the craziness of the pandemic. Text someone you are acquainted with and set up a time to get to know each other better. Pray for your fellow brothers and sisters.
Remember that this is all temporary. I imagine you, like me, are eagerly awaiting the day when we can once again gather together. What a glorious Sunday that will be.
We will be posting another blog soon about different Bible reading plans and strategies. Until then, pray for wisdom on how to be a faithful church member during this time and be intentional to read the Word each day.