With circumstances changing and lifestyles adapting, people have had no choice but to accustom themselves to the new normal. But how does this impact the church and its community?
The growing question and concern as the pandemic continues is this: how are we able to pursue our faith and relationship with God while church life as we knew it has been put on hold?
You are like living stones, so let yourself be used to build a spiritual temple.1 Peter 2:5
We lose sight that we, the people, are the life and soul of the church. We forget that the church is not a place, it is its people. We are the church.
When we worship, it is the church who brings power and the uplifting spirit inside our hearts. When we pray, it is the church’s voice that speaks out His name.
During these times, things must change, and church life has adapted. How has your church changed?
Do you now watch sermons on your tablet or TV screens? Are your meetings and life groups on platforms such as Zoom? Do you listen to worship music more often than usual and pray more than you used to?
This is the new normal that we have to endure.
Changing with the times
Just because there is change, it doesn’t mean we have to forget how we used to go to church, and how we do so now. While we are safe in our homes, we still have the devotion and drive to worship; we still have the song in our hearts. We have the hope of being together again.
This lockdown gives us the chance to find new ways to reach out to non-believers and to spend more time with God.
We are like living stone, searching for others to build a bigger, stronger, better community.
When we finally meet again, in person rather than on a screen, it may not be within the confines of a building. The church may gather in open, airy spaces, attracting those who pass by. Coffee mornings may be distributed through local cafés. Life groups may be held in houses or gardens, fields or restaurants. Worship may have to be sung in our hearts and through our ears.
But the one thing that will never change is our faith, love and trust in God.
We can stay connected to each other through these hard times by meeting as groups in social spaces or online. We can stay connected and continue Bible readings with friends and family, and we can stay connected in prayer and worship. The church can continue leading the response to poverty and injustice.
The church will always stick together, like cement firmly grasping onto the next brick.
When we meet again, it will be in an abundance of joy, so that we may enjoy a new, stronger, rejuvenated church.