During the current Coronavirus pandemic, "stay at home" orders being issued in many places around the world. Many churches have needed to move to some form of on line worship on Sundays. How do we make the adjustment to worshiping at home?
Worship at home has always been a part of biblical faith. In Deut. 6:4-6 we learn about what Jesus called the greatest of God’s commands. It goes on to say:
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deut. 6:7)
God instructed them to talk about his words at home as part of everyday life. Many Christians throughout the centuries have understood and practiced this. In our present crisis we need to remember the importance of worship at home.
How can we genuinely worship at home using our church live stream or video recording?
Before watching the video
- Prepare the space where you will worship at home. Remove clutter and distractions. Silence your phone. Have your Bible ready. If you have young children, prepare some snacks.
- Gather your household. If some family members are not Christians, gather whoever is interested. If you live alone you could text a friend so that you are joining online worship at the same time.
- Prepare your heart to worship God. This is essential! Usually we watch videos for entertainment. This is different. When we gather for on line worship we are there to worship God. We need to have the right attitude so that we can truly worship.
During the video
- Act like you would at church. In other words don’t talk with each other or use your phone to browse the web while the video is on. Don’t do chores while you watch. This is a huge adjustment from the way that most of us watch videos.
- During the praise time sing along and worship the Lord. It might feel a little strange at first to sing along with a video, but we can learn to do this. This is worship, not a show. So be a participant.
- When the pastor or worship leader prays on the video, bow your head and pray as well. This might also seem strange at first, but we can learn to pray along with a video.
- During the sermon open your Bible or Bible app to the passage. Ask God to help you hear what he wants to say to you during the message.
After watching the video
- After the online service ends, spend a few minutes in silent prayer to ask God what he might be saying to you.
- Have a brief discussion with your family members about what God has spoken to you.
- Spend a few minutes in prayer together.
For most of us it is a big adjustment to worship at home. I hope that you find these suggestions helpful. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.