As social distancing restrictions are slowly being lifted, churches are beginning to gather together again in person on Sunday mornings. It’s a time of celebration as we unite with our brothers and sisters in worship of our Savior. It’s also a time of contemplation. For the vast majority of Christians, this will be the first time in three months they’ve been to church. It makes me wonder...
Did you ever think you would see a time in which you couldn’t go to worship on a Sunday morning?
Some churches were prepared for a time like this and quickly transitioned to an already established online church experience. Other churches found themselves scrambling to learn how to utilize technology to livestream their services.
Now, as churches discern how to best open up their campuses, church leadership is wrestling with questions like:
Do we limit each service to a maximum number of people?
Do we require people to wear masks upon entry?
Should we continue shaking hands to greet people?
How do we effectively clean our facility between worship services?
Church leaders are wise to ask these questions to reduce the spread of germs and to be mindful of the safety of their people. As we hit the “reset” button, this is also a perfect time to evaluate how we do church together. Here are some questions we can consider:
If people can watch our service from the comfort of their home, what is it about our in-person experience that should compel them to come to our church? While technology does have tremendous value in communicating the Gospel to the lost, is it beneficial for the body of Christ?
Can our church survive an economic depression? Would we be able to gather together if we could no longer pay for our building?
If something happened to the leaders of our church, would our congregation continue to grow (in numbers and maturity)?
Do our people know how to share the Gospel with the lost?
Do our people know how to teach each other to obey the Scriptures, applying its truths to their lives?
I’m not a doomsday prophet in any sense, and I don’t envision a time when we will not be free to gather together publicly in worship. Nevertheless, I never thought I would experience a global pandemic that would shut most of the world down, and it happened.
Now, more than ever, we need to evaluate the ways in which we gather together as the body of Christ and how we share the Good News of Jesus with others.
If you’d like to have candid conversations with other Christians and leaders in the Church about faith, work, and the church, I want to invite you to participate in one of our monthly Online Learning Labs. This is a free service and our next Learning Lab is June 24 from 11:30am-12:30pm. Together, we'll tackle some of the questions above as we explore Francis Chan's book, Letters to the Church. You'll walk away with some practical things you can apply within your small group immediately as well as ideas to consider for your church long term.
You don't have to have read the book in order to participate. This is a free online event, and you must register in order to receive a Zoom Link to the learning lab. To register, visit: https://www.commissionleadership.com/learning-labs
I look forward to learning with you.