It’s Not The Same
How to get the most out of church from home.
I continue to be amazed at how much can change in our lives in just a short period of time! Most of us were used to getting up on a Sunday morning, trying to look our best, and then driving to church. However, we are now confined to our homes which can be rather discouraging for some of us. We may think, “It’s not the same. Watching church from home is just not the same.” And while I agree with you, and I cannot wait until we can join together again in person, I want to offer some suggestions to get the most out of “online church” from home.
Last week I had the opportunity to be at home, watch online and worship with my family. Here are some things I learned while being on the receiving end:
Take a moment before the service starts to pray. Ask God to speak to your heart and help you to focus. Pray for others who will be watching that God’s Holy Spirit would be working in many hearts. Pray as well for those who are ministering in the service. When someone is leading in prayer during the service, take that opportunity to join with them in prayer.
Expect God to speak to you heart and move in your life. Many times when we are engaging with our TV’s, phones, or computers, we are not actually expecting God to move. Expectation requires faith. Let your faith rise up and expect God to do a work in your life when you are watching from home! I also encourage you to be up, dressed, and wide awake when you tune in. This will propel you into an attitude of expectation!
We understand that technology issues are often going to interfere with watching church from home. We are doing everything we can to minimize those issues on our end. However, keep in mind that we stream our service on three different sites (our website, Facebook, and YouTube). If one site doesn’t seem to be working for you, don’t give up! Try a different viewing site.
I encourage you to also push through the distractions that often come when watching church at home. There may be washing machines running, timers going off, other media outlets vying for your attention, etc. Be prepared for distractions and minimize the ones that are in your control.
FOLLOW AND TAKE NOTES
One advantage of being home is we don’t have more resources available. Grab your Bible and a notebook when watching online. Write down what God is speaking during worship. Take notes as you listen to the sermon. This will help you engage more and benefit from the service.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
Even though we are not together physically, we are together in Spirit. When you jump on a device to watch, let people know you are there! If the speaker encourages you to post something, take that opportunity to post a comment. It’s not considered rude or distracting when online viewers post interactive comments when prompted. It actually cultivates a sense of community and togetherness! It allows others to see who else is participating in the service and encourages them to join in. This has a similar affect as when we are worshiping together in person and are encouraged when we see friends worshiping around us. Now with that being said, you want to avoid commenting about things that are not applicable to the service. That would be distracting and could take the attention away from what God is doing in that moment.
We really mean it when we say we care about you! If you have a need or prayer request please reach out via the “Live Prayer” button on our website, or with a Direct Message on FaceBook or text us your prayer request. If you put a “C” in the text, we will keep it confidential and only share it with our pastors.
Let us grab hold of hope and believe that God is continuing a great work in and through our lives. This is not a season of spiritual retreating and withdrawing, but rather of believing and advancing!