Following on from a Facebook post which opened up a fair amount of discussion and feedback, here are a few more thoughts as we prepare for Sunday.
1. ‘Go’ to your own church tomorrow.
We are all benefiting from getting time to watch how other congregations are ‘doing church’ and whilst terribly flattering to hear about those who are watching us from Australia, the Antarctic or Articlave, we, as believers have our own fellowships to which we belong to and most of us will have our own pastor / minister who has been called to minister to that flock.
One of the great dangers of on-line services is that we play pick-and-mix- chooing which praise songs and preachers we prefer – never mind making use of the pause, fast forward and stop buttons!
Your pastor has grown to know, love and is committed to that flock and as such, seeks to speak into the particular needs of a congregation by way of encouragement, challenge and rebuke.
If we believe in God’s calling and God’s providence, what your minister has prepared for you this Sunday is for you, this Sunday.
2. Sing along at home
I know it is strange hearing the sound of your own voice and those of your family (you very quickly find out who has a musical note in their head – or not?!) if you watch with them, but do try and sing. It is our way of speaking to God in response to these times and lifting our eyes from self (and being self-conscious) and giving Him our attention.
3. When it comes to Bible reading- use a hard copy.
Phones are handy and very portable but get that ‘feel’ for where this passage fits into the rest of God’s Word- it is also a good example to any younger family members with you, that this is a Book- and not a device to be switched on and off.
If you have kids who don’t have a creche to go to or a Sunday facility to drop them into (because you are all in your living room)- don’t beat yourself up!
The important thing is your kids get to see that this is important for you as a family and different from the rest of the week in lockdown. Explain to the kids what is happening or what is being said, chat them through the elements of the service because you are not disturbing anyone else! (p.s. if your kids take a tantrum and you miss most of the service – at least you can watch it again!!!) This is a perfect Deut 6.7 moment for you as a family. A chance to open up conversations and whatever level, age or stage about the importance of God and how we worship Him.
5. At the end of the service – talk about it.
Around home, without the fuss of worrying about where you parked or who you have to speak about regarding some church function coming up or who is next on the rota (all of that is gone at the moment)- stop, search your heart and strike up a conversation with those around you about what you benefited from and were challenged by.
Or, if you are very brave – phone a friend who was watching and ask, ‘Well, how was God speaking to you?’