In many ways, we find ourselves in unchartered territory. Few of us could have ever imagined that so much would happen in such a short time in relation to the Coronavirus, but it has, and more change and disruption will no doubt continue in the coming weeks and months.
One of the big questions that Christians are dealing with is the question of worship. How should we worship when gathering together is becoming increasingly risky? One of the blessings of our modern world is that church can now be live-streamed and you can watch services on the internet. Many churches did that last Sunday and even more churches will do that this coming Sunday, but I want to suggest to you that that is not the only option.
Back in January of 2019 and then again in December, we had with some winter weather over a couple weekends and were forced to do what we called “church at home.” It was a bit of an inconvenience, but it actually turned out to be a real blessing for our family. Let me explain.
After breakfast on those Sunday mornings, I sat down with the kids and we grabbed some hymnals. We picked 4-5 of our favorite hymns that are easy to sing even without accompaniment (piano or guitar, etc.). Next we picked a couple of Scripture readings – one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. We added some other elements like special music from our twin daughters on the piano, and the Lord’s prayer, and I prepared a short sermon.
The next step was for our older kids to prepare some bulletins with the order of service and for us to transform our rec room into a makeshift meeting room with the chairs arranged in an appropriate way. By about 9:30 we were ready to go and it turned out to be special time of worshipping the Lord.
One of the surprises was just how enthusiastic our kids were about “church at home.” They absolutely loved it, especially our older kids. You can probably tell that it is highly participatory. One of the downfalls of much modern worship is that it tends to emphasize the “performers” up on stage. They are the professionals and everyone else just shows up and takes it all in. Man is elevated and worship becomes more about us than the living God. Congregational worship, however, reminds us that we are all participators when it comes to bringing praise and honor to our great God.
Along with that, church at home doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be quite simple. Prayer, Singing, and the Word are the 3 core elements of any worship service, and those are easily transferable, whether you are doing home church or in some other venue. Don’t feel like you have to do it like us. I simply shared to give you some ideas and suggestions that might help you.
One more thing……. let me encourage Father’s to lead in this. God has called husbands and fathers to be spiritual leaders in the home (Ephesians 6:4, 1 Cor. 11:3)), so even if you don’t think yourself particularly knowledgeable when it comes to the Bible, you can still lead. You can read the Bible to your family and you can lead in prayer.
I don’t know what you have planned for this weekend, but family worship or church at home might be a good option. Make use of your hymnbook (let me encourage you to get one if you don’t already have one), your Bible, let this be an opportunity to focus your attention on Almighty God (Colossians 3:1-4).