Taking Worship Home and Online in a Coronavirus Age

Taking Worship Home and Online in a Coronavirus Age

Healthy Living with Dr. Levister

The continued threat of the spread of the coronavirus has led federal, state and local leaders to place a ban on large gatherings of people. Local houses of worship have fallen victim to the shutdowns with services across the region postponed indefinitely. Like most pastors and church leaders in recent weeks, the faithful are in the throes of confusion.

But there’s good news. Many churches are turning to Zoom or Skype, Facebook, YouTube, Face Time and Messenger to connect people during the global virus crisis. Many of these services are available for live streaming online, or in some cases, you can watch a recorded version. The rapid spread of Covid-19 has forced upon churches an ecclesiological conundrum.

What does it even mean to be a “church” in times like this? How much does it matter that we continue to gather, physically, in the midst of such fear and uncertainty? Is such a decision wise or unwise? At what point are we being resolute or reckless?

Social distancing seems to be the only feasible solution to stopping or at least slowing the spread of the virus. Some churches are hosting digital services every Sunday morning, live prayer online every Wednesday, and providing at home weekly resources for kids, students, and extended communities.

Some non denominational and loose knot religious groups are using the stay at home orders as a lesson to teach and enlighten about past plagues while preparing for the next pandemic.

For most people alive today the idea of a plague that strikes countries around the world, as the Bible says – was until recently hard to imagine. Covid-19 has given the faithful and non believers an inkling of the fear of and vulnerability to disease that all human societies lived with until the 20th century.

Now we worship in our homes knowing that while the building may be closed, the Church, the gathered Body of Christ, is wide open.

As we enter this new digital reality for the time being, we can leverage the moment and the medium in helpful ways. Everyone has a role to play. We’re in this together. Please don’t go to those “churches, synagogues or houses of worship” during this time of stay at home. Instead love your neighbor as yourself, keeping them safe by worshiping as the apostles did: at home.

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